Complete Farmer is an Agritech company that uses data and technology to connect all stakeholders in the value chain to ensure quality control, proper standards, and end-to-end food production systems. Desmond Koney, CEO of Complete Farmer shares his journey towards reshaping agriculture through Complete Farmer, showing the innovation, adaptability, and collaboration that contributes to the platform's success. Complete Farmer aspires to evolve into the Amazon for Africa's food Marketplace.
Complete Farmer is an Agritech company that uses data and technology to connect all stakeholders in the value chain to ensure quality control, proper standards, and end-to-end food production systems. They developed an integrated platform that connects growers, buyers, suppliers, and other players in the Agriculture value chain to enable a seamless channel for business operations. Complete Farmer aims to digitize the agriculture value chain in Africa to make it more competitive and efficient.
Desmond Koney, the CEO of Complete Farmer started in 2017, when he inherited his father's farm. After two years of grappling with its operations, he felt a need to resurrect the standard. Koney's journey evolved into a deeper exploration of the agriculture value chain, uncovering shared challenges among farmers. The desire to address these challenges became the catalyst for the creation of Complete Farmer.
I failed after two years of trying to operate my father’s farm and being the firstborn in the family, this was a big, big issue for me.
Koney and his team went through an arduous development process, having to adapt the platform's business model three times. Despite the financial and staffing considerations and the inherent unpredictability of agriculture.
Challenges in the agricultural sector extend beyond logistical complexities, it also includes variables such as weather, soil conditions, and market fluctuations. Handling these challenges requires a profound understanding of the sector and a commitment to innovative problem-solving.
Desmond Koney offers advice to aspiring agricultural entrepreneurs, based on his experience overcoming these challenges.
Before diving into building any solution for agriculture, it's crucial to get your hands dirty first. Ensure you have an understanding of how the value chain operates, why it functions as it does, and understand the behaviours of farmers along your value chain. This foundational knowledge is super important before developing any form of solution.
Complete Farmer seamlessly blends consultation and contracting services to bridge the gap between farmers and global buyers. The platform facilitates real-time production transactions and emphasises the simplicity with which users can connect and actively participate in food production.
Complete Farmer currently cultivates eight crops; Soybeans, Chilli pepper, Sweet Potato, Groundnut, Beans, Ginger, Cocoa and Pineapple. The manufacturing process starts with demand, a person or organization lists out specifications and product needs. These requirements are strategically matched with farmers available on the platform. Immediately after the order is placed, the buyer can monitor each phase—from production to quality assurance and delivery.
This ensures that the buyers have a front-row seat in the agricultural production chain. The platform is also committed to sustainability, and it is evident through monitored and reduced carbon footprint, which positively impacts the overall supply chain.
Users can seamlessly order, monitor logistics, and directly remunerate farmers through the platform. At the point of payment, Complete Farmer efficiently manages its service delivery commission and provides a seamless and efficient transaction experience for all parties involved.
You always have to make sure that the services and solutions you are providing to those farmers are having the impact that you want to have, and so we have a closed-loop feedback system in our process on the platform.
One of the challenges that Complete Farmer had was the absence of a streamlined mechanism for buyers to make direct payments to farmers. And so they invested in developing a payment feature that has improved the efficiency of transactions and reinforced the platform's commitment to empowering farmers by ensuring direct, transparent financial interactions between buyers and the agricultural community.
Koney’s team is interdisciplinary, bringing together experts from agronomy, computer engineering, supply chain, project management, and sales.
We have people from different fields coming together to solve a problem, and I think that diversity makes us able to create a holistic solution with different perspectives across the value chain.
Complete Farmer's diverse team shows how individuals from different fields come together to solve problems. This diversity is important in creating holistic solutions with various perspectives across the entire value chain. Koney imagines Complete Farmer as a key player in empowering African farmers to meet global demands, aspiring to build an Amazon-like infrastructure for African agriculture. Complete Farmer has upcoming plans for the launch of a new banking product next year, aimed at ensuring financial inclusion for farmers across the African continent.