DOB Equity expands agri portfolio with investment in leading Kenyan laboratory services company Cropnuts

24 Jul 2019

  • Investment into Cropnuts – a leading Kenyan soil & crops testing and agri services company for East Africa
  • Cropnuts will reach over 500,000 farmers by 2023, increasing crop yields and food security across Africa

DOB Equity, a leading Dutch family-backed impact investor in East Africa, has invested in Crop Nutrition Laboratory Services (“Cropnuts”) of Kenya, to help it capitalize on the fast-growing demand for quality lab testing & agronomy services and help farmers “grow more, with less” across Sub-Saharan Africa. The investment is a co-investment with ’AHL Venture Partners.

Cropnuts is a well-diversified and profitable company that provides lab tests on soil, water & crops for small, medium and larger-scale farmers, research institutions and NGOs. Samples from across Sub Saharan Africa (SSA) are tested in Cropnuts’ ISO-certified lab facility in Limuru, and clients are supported by its strong nationwide network of agronomists.

Cropnuts Agronomy Services’ team holds the unofficial World record for Barley yields (11 tons/hectare), which was produced on a rainfed, zero tillage large scale farm in Kenya. Cropnuts has now developed an accessible mobile soil testing platform, helping small farmers to boost crop productivity and lower input costs.

Cropnuts has ~75% market share of Kenya’s horticulture sector. DOB’s investment will help to regionally expand its agro-testing services for larger lab facilities and increase sales of its mobile lab units. So far Cropnuts has worked with over 50,000 smallholder farmers in SSA to help double their yields.

Agriculture is the backbone of African economies. In Kenya, it contributes to over 26% of GDP and, employs over 40% of the population. For agriculture to be fully capitalized on, quality agronomy services should be available, scalable and affordable for all. Cropnuts provides professional and state of the art services and cost-effective solutions for small and large-scale farmers.

Brigit van Dijk – van de Reijt, CEO of DOB Equity, says: “DOB Equity is keen to support climate smart farming and contribute to global food security by supporting innovative leaders in the agri sector. With DOBs’ recent investments in Kentaste and Ten Senses Africa, Cropnuts fits perfectly in DOB’s agriculture portfolio. The company is a game-changer that may transform the sector by supporting farmers to boost yields and improve livelihoods”.

Arnold Mwangi, Investment Analyst of DOB Equity, comments: “Apart from the instantly strong partnership we felt with the management based on its values to grow Cropnuts, we were impressed with their deep technical knowledge and their strong proposition to farmers – ‘grow more, with less’. With the global transition towards sustainable & effective agriculture, Cropnuts will continue to have substantial social and environmental impact across farming communities in Africa.”

Jeremy Cordingley, Founder and Managing Director of Cropnuts, comments: “We are very pleased and looking forward to working with DOB Equity and AHL Ventures on the expansion of Cropnuts. We have an ambitious growth trajectory and to unlock the full potential of the African agricultural sector, we need local partners like DOB Equity and AHL Ventures that understand what it takes to expand the business and enter new markets.”

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