Niger Basin Nexus Acceleration Programme // Article Series No. 4: Acceleration of the winning startups of the WEF Nexus bootcamp: Agro-Eco Service
By combining biochar and compost, the Maggot-compost formulated and marketed by Agro-Eco Service contributes to the management of urban organic waste. It succeeded in reducing the composting time of organic waste from 45 days to 12 days.
This article is also available in French.
Be sure to read the previous articles in this series for a complete overview: article 1, article 2, article 3.
Agro-Eco Service Flies at the service of organic agriculture in Benin
Agro-Eco Service is a young start-up company based in Benin, specialised in the production and marketing of a green fertiliser, "Maggot-Compost". Thanks to "Maggot-Compost", Agro-Eco Service participates in the sustainable restoration of soil fertility and the promotion of organic farming among producers.
In order to improve its productivity, Agro-Eco Service is currently benefiting from an 8-month acceleration within the 2iE Institute's Incubator thanks to GIZ funding. This is the third part in the series of the 2IE – International Institute for Water and Environmental Engineering.
From research to entrepreneurship
Based on the results of his Master's research, Noel Obognon, founder of Agro-Eco Service, succeeded in reducing the composting time of organic waste from 45 days to 12 days thanks to a technique that uses black soldier flies as decomposition agents. By combining biochar and compost, the Maggot-compost formulated and marketed by Agro-Eco Service contributes to the management of urban organic waste while providing an answer to the problem of declining agricultural yields and soil fertility in Africa.
Flies for organic farming
With the use of black soldier flies, Agro-Eco Service obtains compost in short production cycles and has managed to process approximately 200 tonnes of organic waste in 2021. With an average fertiliser production of about 11 tonnes/month, Agro-Eco Service is now the second largest producer of organic fertiliser in Benin.
Thanks to its young and dynamic team (8 permanent and 12 temporary staff), the startup has been supporting and supplying nearly 2,000 market gardeners and 500 small-scale organic pineapple producers since 2019. The use of Agro-Eco Service's organic fertilisers has enabled producers to double or even quadruple their yields of vegetables and amaranth leaves.
For the next few years, Agro-Eco Service aims to position itself as the main supplier of green manure to organic pineapple growers in Benin.
Challenges and prospects
During its acceleration at the 2iE Institute, Agro-Eco Service will benefit from the expertise of the Laboratoire Eaux Hydrosystèmes et Agriculture (LEHSA) and the Laboratoire d'Energies Renouvelables et Efficacité Énergétique (LabEREE) for the certification of its fertilizers and the optimization of its production process. In the short term, this support will enable the technical data sheets for the fertilisers to be drawn up and in the medium term to considerably reduce production costs and increase the startup's margins.
- Nexus Dialogue in the Niger Basin // EU-Niger Business Forum 2023
- Niger Basin Nexus Acceleration Programme // Article Series No. 2: Winning startup completes immersion course
- Nexus Regional Dialogue Niger Basin // The Niger Basin Authority adopts its first transboundary guidelines on Water-Energy-Food-Environment Nexus