Company develops mobile platform to aid Ghanaian farmers document and protect lands
A Netherlands company that has developed a mobile platform that enables smallholder farmers to document and protect their land holdings has received an investment package to grow its customer base in Ghana.
This investment, according to a press release copied to Ghanabusinessnews.com, February 13 2017, says Landmapp BV is providing this unique service primarily to cocoa farmers.
The transaction also involved participation by HERi Africa, an existing investor in the company.
Many of the world’s 500 million smallholder families face two interrelated challenges: they hold little, if any, rights to their land and lack formal documentation; being restricted to the informal sector, they often cannot access technical and financial services to improve their livelihoods, the release said.
It also indicated that documented property rights enable them to plan for their future, by investing in their land and property, insuring the health of their families and sending their children to school.
This has a highly positive impact on the economic wellbeing of the farmers, their families and their communities, the release further said.
For smallholder farmers, the release points out that securing their land is often a large and very complex challenge.
Landmapp provides an end to end affordable service, from the time the farmer signs up, till they hold a legal land certificate in their hands, it adds.
“We are delighted to be investing in Landmapp and its exciting model. They have clearly shown that farmers in Ghana understand the value of land documentation and are willing to pay for the legal protection they offer. We believe this model can be replicated in other countries,” Omidyar Network Venture Partner, Peter Rabley was cited as saying in the report.
“Land and property rights are a complex sector, requiring significant knowledge and deep relationships in order to succeed. Omidyar Network has both, so we really couldn’t have a better partner on board. And with HERi Africa, we have an investor with a thorough understanding of agriculture value chains and smallholders.” Simon Ulvund Landmapp’s CEO was also quoted as saying in the release.
“We’re now able to focus on growing our business in Ghana, first looking at scaling the number of land documents sold, while also partnering with complementary businesses such as financial service providers, unlocking new products and services for smallholder farmers,” Thomas Vaassen, Landmapp’s CTO was quoted as saying.
Landmapp was established in 2015 by two Amsterdam-based entrepreneurs, Simon Ulvund and Thomas Vaassen. Their first country of operation is Ghana, and they have plans to expand into other countries following this successful rollout, added.
Omidyar Network is the organisation investing in Landmapp.
Omidyar Network is a philanthropic investment firm dedicated to harnessing the power of markets to create opportunity for people to improve their lives. Established in 2004 by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar and his wife Pam, the organization invests in and helps scale innovative organizations to catalyze economic and social change.
By Pamela Ofori-Boateng