It's time for effective farming

Laura Diez

Startup Stories

Mavuno Technologies is a satellite data powered mobile app for farmers in Africa. It displays crop status as heat maps and therefore helps farmers take targeted action and increase their harvest yields. “Our mission is to empower African farmers,” so Johannes Röhrenbach, Co-founder and CEO of our network startup Mavuno. Learn more about Mavuno below. 

Johannes Röhrenbach, Co-founder and CEO together with Jakob Röhrenbach, Co-founder and CTO of Manuvo Technologies

What problem motivated you to start the company? 

"African smallholder farmers have limited access to crop protectants leading to very low harvest yields. This is due to dysfunctional markets and limited access to funds because of high individual income risk profiles."

How would you explain your solution in three sentences to a professional colleague in a chemical company?

"Utilising high quality imagery data from ESA’s Sentinel-2 satellites and machine learning models trained with African ground data labels, we can predict harvest yields and crop protectant resp. fertiliser demand. This allows us to manage risk income profiles of farmers registered on our platform. We offer yearly subscriptions for distribution of organic crop protectants to the farms, empowering farmers to increase their harvest yields by 2x."

How do you convince a chemical company to set up a pilot project with you?

"Through our platform, African smallholder farmers can access crop protectants, fertilisers and other farm inputs and manufacturers can sell these products to these customers, whilst non-payment and other risks are managed by our satellite imagery technology. We therefore unlock the enormous potentials of a new idle customer segment."

Johannes Röhrenbach (right) with a group of African farmers 

Who are your current customer (groups) and who should be the potential customers? 

"Within our first year 2021, we provided 600 Tanzanian cashew nut farmers with our services. In 2022, we aim to grow our customer base to 5,000 Tanzanian cashew farmers, whilst qualifying coffee as second crop type and Kenya as second African country for our service, before scaling to further crop types and African countries."

Where do you see yourself in 3 years and how can 5-HT support you?

"In 3 years, we want to be an established software platform serving agricultural markets in min. 5 African countries with a total user base of 100,000, driven by a company of ca. 50 employees and a network of min. 1,000 contributors. 5-HT can facilitate partnerships with crop protectant companies, who can sell their products to African smallholder farmers through our platform."

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