By Mike Bondo
According to a study made by McKinsey, more than 60 percent of the population of Sub-Saharan Africa are small-holder farmers and around 23 percent of Sub-Saharan Africa’s GDP emanates from agriculture. Until now, Africa’s full agricultural potential remains unexploited. The rural farmers in the continent of Africa have the land but lack financial resources, technical abilities, and knowledge of the market. Given the fragmentation and challenges assessing credit-worthiness, access to finance for farmers to purchase inputs (or hold on to outputs to sell when prices are higher) remains a challenge. These issues have an impact on both the quantity and the quality of the food products, that’s why Go Global started. The idea behind the venture is to link farmers to investment opportunities and support them with technical abilities so that they can buy input to improve the quality of their work and help them to achieve their target. At Go Global, we want to combine financial return with social impact, meaning providing sustainable agriculture. We believe in partnership over aid. That’s why we are building partnerships with agricultural cooperatives (the group of actual farmers with whom we are in partnership), development partners, and non-governmental organizations that can help us scale up.
Our mission is to focus on uplifting previously disadvantaged communities and promoting entrepreneurship to fight poverty through investment and sustainable job creation. This investment is creating jobs in rural areas – on average 6 people are hired per project sponsored. So far, only 5 projects have been sponsored in West Africa. On the other side, investors have received value for the investment in our funds.
While the challenges are many, relatively low–investment opportunities, such as Go Global exist to innovate on route-to-market approaches along the supply chain. Despite the fact that the number of medium-sized farms is growing, increased small-holder productivity will be the biggest growth driver.
Our goal this year is that Go Global will grow the number and quality of both its projects and the quality of its investors in order to achieve the vision, which, in the next 5 to 10 years, is to be a leading specialist in agri-investment in Africa, using technology to improve the work of small and medium farmers. Various studies have proven that understanding the foundations of Africa’s agricultural potential and addressing the challenges preventing true expansion could increase production by two to three times what it is today.
Small-holder farmers like Amouzouvi yaovi (one of the farmers working with Go Global) are the hardest-working people. He was among the first ones to join our journey because he realizes the potential that was presented to him. I personally met with him in Abidjan (cote d’Ivoire) a few years ago before the partnership. Last year, he was able to produce and harvest around 300kg of red pepper, a spice very popular in West Africa, and through the partnership, 5 people were employed in that project. Before Go Global, his scale of impact was very limited because gathering investment and resources was challenging due to the fact that many of the farmers’ profiles look too risky and less attractive for many conventional institutions. Today, Amouzouvi is an ambassador for us and doing second projects with Go Global. (Shown in the picture: this banana farm after completion this year will produce 1200 trees.)
Go Global is actively working to build a world where all farmers benefit from their work in feeding cities. Over time, Go Global has steadily improved the impact of Amouzouvi’s program, by introducing both improvements to existing products and new products. However, many of the crops small-holders plant are harvested annually, in the agricultural season. As a result, the effects of product improvements are often dominated by the material influence that weather, pests, and market prices have on the yields and profits farmers generate from their crops each year.
Mike Bondo is co-founder of Go Global Corporation, a social impact investment platform dedicated to supporting small-holder farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa, mostly young people and women, helping them to connect with capital investment opportunities. He stumbled onto the idea of Go Global while he was on a trip pitching for another project in 2017, and he has never looked back. Today, Go Global operates in the DRC and Togo. Their mission is to uplift previously disadvantaged communities and to promote entrepreneurship to fight poverty through investment and sustainable job creation. In 2019, he was named among the Top 100 young leaders in sub-Saharan Africa by The Young Independents magazine. He holds a Bachelor’s in business management and a Bachelor Honours in strategic management
Web Site: https://www.goglobalcorp.org/