Niger Basin Nexus Acceleration Programme // Article Series No. 7: Agro-Eco Services, towards an increasingly competitive offer
Jul 03 2023
Supported by the characterisation of 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 materials, which considers their availability, accessibility and, above all, their purchase costs, the start-up has been able to reduce its production costs and increase its profit margins. It has also improved the operation of its traditional pyroliser by developing a prototype that optimises air inlets.
Due to this new version of the pyroliser, Agro-Eco Services has increased its carbonisation yield from 7% to 18%, and its production capacity has risen from 20 to 30 tonnes/month. With a new margin of extra 10%, the kg of “Maggot-Compost” sold on the market decreased from 200F/Kg to 180F/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/day, compared to 40kg/day of the current system. The company aims to market 100 tonnes of fertiliser per month by 2026. Through the Support Project for the Development of Market Gardening in Benin (PADMAR on its French acronym), Agro-Eco Services is benefiting 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. It 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 and the German Ministry for International Cooperation and Development. •