Vinmak Farms is an agri-business company operating in Northern Ghana, which improves value chains from increased seed yields to enhanced food nutrition. Despite the many challenges brought to West Africa by climate change, they specialise in enabling farmers to increase their productivity and improve their livelihoods. To do this, Vinmak provides farmers with high-quality seeds and fertilisers, access to mechanised equipment and secure produce storage, technical expertise, and market advice.
Initially, Vinmak provided in-person support and services by purchasing seeds and offering advice at the market. However, they recognised the limitations of this method and introduced an e-commerce platform named Farm Store to connect farmers with service providers through technology. Nonetheless, farmers do not need to have a continual Internet connection to be able to have access to Vinmak’s offerings. Instead, Vinmak enables farmers who do not have reliable Internet connections to communicate their requirements through robust, simple phone services.
For the past five years, Vinmak assisted smallholder farmers in northern Ghana to increase yield from 1.7 tons per hectare to 4 tons per hectare and reduce post-harvest losses to 10%.
Through DIGILOGIC, VTT has provided advice to further develop Vinmak’s information for international audiences, such as potential investors. Also, Vinmak has received suggestions for the website and platform development. Their objective is to reach 15,000 users within three years. Vinmak works closely with DIGILOGIC Ghana-based consortium partner MEST, which provides coaching and training to prepare for business growth and investment opportunities.
Michael Vinyo Addae, the Founder and CEO of Vinmak Farms Ltd., stated that his work goes beyond just business. He comes from a family of farmers, including his single mother and grandmother, who were both involved in trout farming. After school, he joined his mother in running the family business and caring for his siblings. He is now focused on working to help women farmers, families and future generations through the business activities of Vinmak Farms Ltd.
Vinmak aims to expand its reach to the broader West African market within five years based on this strong life-long commitment to farming. This is important because West African food insecurity amid multiple crises demands climate-smart responses, which Vinmak can provide.
The workshop concluded with each innovator recording their pitch. Watch the innovators' pitches playlist on DIGILOGIC YouTube channel.