event 04 июл. 2023

Niger Basin Nexus Acceleration Programme // Article Series No. 7: Agro-Eco Services, towards an increasingly competitive offer 

Following its inclusion to the Water-Energy-Food (WEF) Security Nexus Start-up Acceleration Programme (EESA on its French acronym), Agro-Eco Services started optimising its production process and certifying its fertilisers. These are significant achievements for the start-up, which plans to establish itself as a key player in organic farming in Benin.

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This article is also available in French.

By characterising its raw materials, Agro-Eco Services has now detailed technical data sheets for each of the products it markets. Thanks to its new strategy for collecting raw material supply, which considers availability, accessibility and, above all, purchasing costs, the start-up has been able to reduce its production costs and increase its profit margins. It has also been able to improve the operation of its traditional pyrolyser by developing a prototype that optimises air inlets.

Due to this new version of the pyrolyser, Agro-Eco Services has increased its carbonisation yield from 7 % to 18 %, and its production capacity from 20 to 30 tonnes per month. With a new profit margin of an additional 10 %, the kilogram (kg) of "Maggot-Compost" sold on the market decreased from 200 CFA franc/Kg to 180 CFA franc/Kg. In the long term, the start-up plans to move to semi-industrial production by acquiring a pyrolyser with a carbonisation capacity of 500kg per day, compared to 40kg per day of the current system. The start-up aims to market 100 tonnes of fertiliser per month by 2026. Through the Support Project for the Development of Market Gardening in Benin (Projet d’Appui pour le Développement du Maraîchage au Bénin, PADMAR), Agro-Eco Services benefits from partnerships to open sales outlets for its fertilisers throughout the country.

The company’s business plan is currently being updated, along with a communication and awareness-raising strategy to encourage farmers to use organic fertilisers. The start-up aims at maximising its communications on digital platforms to reach more target audiences.

Towards certification of its fertilisers

The start-up has embarked on the ECOCERT certification process in line with the requirements of the European Union (EU) standard 2018/848, in order to guarantee its customers authentic, high-quality products. Once this recognition has been obtained, it will be able to conquer both the national and international markets. Agro-Eco Services has now a fund-raising strategy and is being supported by 2iE's Incubation and Entrepreneurship Centre (CIE) to carry out due-diligence to strengthen its position in the eyes of future investors.

Agro-Eco Services is a young start-up based in Benin, specialising in the production and marketing of a green fertiliser called "Maggot-Compost". Promoted by Noel Obognon, the start-up has been accelerating since September 2022 at the 2iE Institute's Incubator, with funding from the European Union (EU) and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).

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