One such SME, started in 2009 in Tunisia, makes and distributes a buried diffuser, a new underground irrigation tool. Invented by Dr. Bellachheb, the buried diffuser holds an international patent, and his business – called Chahtech S.A. – intends to manufacture and sell this innovative irrigation tool worldwide.
Dr. Bellachheb of Chahtech
Chahtech’s buried diffuser greatly increases the “crop-for-drop” ratio by distributing water 3-4 times more efficiently than traditional drip irrigation techniques. In Tunisia, a global leader in olive oil exports, olive plantations can withstand droughts of up to three years with the help of Chahtech’s buried diffuser. Working with infoDev as part of the Access to Finance and Markets program (A2FM), Dr. Bellachheb hopes to transform productivity in the Middle East and North Africa for everyone- from farmers seeking better crop yield to NGOs battling the desertification of land.
CS Jadhav of Nandan Biomatrix
In India, Nandan Biomatrix Limited is leading the way as a sustainable provider of alternative energy solutions. Nandan Biomatrix , explains its marketing director C.S. Jadhav, provides comprehensive services for sustainable biofuel development that, “...caters to the needs of people, planet, and profit.” Nandan offers an array of services, such as facilitating bank financing and providing high-quality biodiesel using a globally-patented technique involing jatropha plant oil.
Part of Nandan Biomatrix’s success derives from the desire to deliver a holistic “seed-to-oil” solution for local farmers and large-scale corporations alike. Guided by infoDev’s A2FM program, Mr. Jadhav hopes to expand his customer base to airline and railway companies in order to build an economy of sustainable biofuels, both within India and across the region.
Jamila Abass of M-Farm
The third agribusiness focused recipient is located in East Africa. M-Farm Limited, co-founded by web and app developer Jamila Abass, utlizes mobile technologies to provide important agricultural information to farmers in rural Kenya. For example, the company’s Market Price Inquiry service sends the latest prices of various crops directly to farmers’ mobile phones via SMS. Farmers are then able to leverage this information as they sell their produce.
M-Farm provides a package of services which amounts to what Ms. Abass calls a “social network for farmers,” allowing them to stay informed during the crop season and setting M-Farm apart from similar mobile-enabled services. She also expects this SME to make Kenyan farms more efficient by increasing farmers’ profits and playing “a critical role in reducing rural poverty” in the region.
These three agribusiness SMEs will work closely with infoDev to craft viable business plans that promote sustainable development and innovative agriculture solutions. Stay tuned for their progress; we’re excited to see them develop and succeed!