While Africa is expected to become a key market for international trade and investment over the coming decades, deforestation and climate change are putting food, water and socio-economic development at risk across the continent. At its current pace, land degradation could render over half of Africa’s existing farmland unusable by 2050.
When African-led businesses promote nature-based solutions to these challenges, they can harness immense impact for people, nature and climate. That is why investing in these leading entrepreneurs is the key to a more sustainable future. Contributing to AFR100’s goal to restore 100 million hectares of land across the continent by 2030, the Land Accelerator Africa provides training and mentorship to boost companies’ business management skills, communications and investment readiness. The program selected 103 locally led, market-driven green businesses across 26 African countries to join its 2023 cohort. From the 103 businesses, the top 16 were selected to receive further customized mentorship and will attend the Land Accelerator Africa Summit in Lilongwe, Malawi from October 16th through 20th.
This is the fifth cohort of the Land Accelerator Africa program that, since 2018, combines efforts from the World Resources Institute (WRI), AUDA-NEPAD, Fledge and Barka to equip entrepreneurs with skills to build economically viable companies that attract investors and foster restoration. The program now has 293 graduates across all its cohorts. Collectively, these graduates have placed about 260,000 hectares of land under restoration in Africa and engaged nearly 449,000 smallholder farmers across the continent.
The Top 16 companies of the 2023 cohort represent 12 African countries and feature inspiring businesses ranging from cosmetic products to organic fertilizer. The numbers further illustrate how they are diversifying the business and restoration sector: 56% of these companies are founded by women, and 53% are led by youth. Below you can read more about their aspirations to grow their business while advancing restoration in their communities.
Meet The Top 16 Companies of the Land Accelerator Africa 2023
Afrex Gold Limited
Contact: Shiro Ndirangu | Email: email@example.com
Sector: Avocado | Location: Kenya
Afrex Gold Limited works with small scale avocado farmers, providing them with high-quality seedlings, guidance on nurturing their orchards and packaging services. The company was founded in 2000, inspired by the growing demand for premium fruits and vegetables from East Africa. Since then, it has been exporting fresh fruits and vegetables around the world, largely in Europe and the Gulf Region. Afrex Gold centers its restoration efforts along the avocado value chain, especially by using agroforestry methods that integrate silky oak trees in avocado orchards. Moving forward, the company aims to source more fruit from smallholder farmers who do not typically have access to international markets. Learn more about their business in this pitch deck.
Contact: Abdul de Almeida | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sector: Restoration and agricultural consulting
Crimas Lda provides technical assistance in reforestation, agroforestry and sustainable agriculture. By conducting training programs, the company supports farmers’ agricultural businesses while also encouraging them to be active agents of environment conservation. Crimas helps design and implement reforestation projects, along with providing tree and vegetable seedlings to support agroforestry initiatives. Through their work, they aim to increase agricultural production and halt excessive loss of native forests in the northern region of Mozambique. The company plans to scale its business by setting up an inclusive business model for land restoration and establishing tree nurseries around the Nampula province. Learn more about their business in this pitch deck.
Y and M Regeneration Limited
Contact: Yvonne Odame-Nti | Email: email@example.com
Sector: Agroforestry | Location: Ghana
Y and M Regeneration Limited applies agroforestry technology and know-how across farms to promote environmental protection, increase food security and protect livelihoods. While it started with 118 hectares and one nursey site in 2009, the business now manages over 1000 hectares, oversees multiple tree nursery sites, and grows a variety of agricultural products for commercial use, including cashews and corn. While they focus on seedling production and timber plantations, Y and M has expanded its business model to include urban greening projects, youth education programs and honey production. Y and M Regeneration’s future projects will focus on carbon market opportunities and promoting fast-growing timber species for wooden kitchenware, laptop cases and children’s toys. Learn more about their business in this pitch deck.
Contact: Mawuse Christina Gyisun | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sector: Sustainable Shea Agriculture and Agroforestry | Location: Ghana
Sommalife provides resources to smallholder women’s shea cooperatives to increase their crop yields and productivity. The company’s capacity building and financial management sessions equip local producers to deliver high quality products and to effectively manage their microbusiness. Sommalife digitizes the operations of female shea producers, trains them to become agents of conservation and connects them to the international market through global exporters and manufacturers. In doing so, Sommalife secures prices for female producers that are currently 22.75% above market value. The company plans to expand its strategic partnerships to reach international markets and invest in research that will enhance the quality of its shea products. Learn more about their business in this pitch deck.
GreenGoal Rwanda Initiative
Contact: Anne Marie Uwamwezi Micomyiza | Email: email@example.com
Sector: Native tree seedlings, restoration and consultancy | Location: Rwanda
GreenGoal Rwanda Initiative is a local social enterprise that promotes land restoration through accessible and affordable native tree seedlings to farmers. They engage in restoration by planting 5% of the seedlings produced in their nurseries in degraded forest areas. GreenGoal also offers various land management services, including training in tree planting techniques and community engagement. The company grew its revenue by 50% between 2021 and 2022 and, in the future, aims to expand its interventions to serve more people and double its impact on nature and climate. Learn more about their business in this pitch deck.
Contact: John James | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sector: Aloe vera | Location: Madagascar
Mioty Voajanahary's flagship product is Alomac, a nutritional supplement made from Aloe macroclada. This aloe species is endemic to Madagascar and known across the country for its special healing properties. The company restores unproductive land to grow Aloe macroclada and engages rural communities to apply these practices to other food crops. These efforts include planting trees, covering crops and converting waste leaves into liquid fertilizer. Mioty Voajanahary plans to add two additional facilities, obtain more land for cultivation and purchase major equipment to grow its business in the aloe market. Learn more about their business in this pitch deck.
Orchard Juices Limited
Contact: Pauline Kabiru | Email: email@example.com
Sector: Fruit Juice | Location: Kenya
Orchard Juices produces freshly squeezed, nutrient-rich juice while engaging in landscape restoration by growing fruit trees, which can help to improve soil quality and crop yields. The company started as a response to the increasing demand for fresh fruit juice, driven by increased awareness of food safety and the benefits of eating fresh products. In two years, Orchard Juices more than doubled the number of farmers they engage with, from 15,500 in 2020 to 49,800 in 2022, and plans to increase restoration efforts in Kenya’s Makueni County. The company hopes to increase daily production to reach up to 30,000 liters of juice per day by upgrading equipment and growing its network of smallholder farmers. Learn more about their business in this pitch deck.
Green Compost in Agriculture for Development
Contact: Abubakarr Ibrahim Ndopaie | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sector: Organic fertilizer | Location: Sierra Leone
Green Compost in Agriculture for Development offers organic compost fertilizer to horticulturalists. Founded in August 2018, the company started recycling and composting organic waste into fertilizer for crops. Green Compost’s goal is to connect waste management to sustainable, climate-smart agriculture for food security in Sierra Leone. It couples these efforts with a nursery where they grow cash crop trees, such as cocoa and cashew, to foster agroforestry. By 2025, Green Compost aims to expand its sales beyond Sierra Leone and reach the international organic fertilizer market. Learn more about their business in this pitch deck.
Goshen Farm Exporters Ltd
Contact: Alex Mutua Muli | Email: email@example.com
Sector: Dried fruits; biofertilizer | Location: Kenya
Goshen Farm Exporters Ltd creates more businesses opportunities for smallholder farmers by processing leftover tropical fruits into premium snacks, thus reducing food waste. The company’s restoration efforts aim to ensure responsible and sustainable sourcing for its raw materials. Goshen’s ultimate mission is to create an inclusive market for over 4,800 smallholder farmers in rural Southeastern and Coastal Kenya while minimizing food loss. The company is additionally innovating by generating biogas for factory use and biofertilizer for farmers. Learn more about their business in this pitch deck.
Matenda Coffee Farms Ltd
Contact: Lizzie Msowoya | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sector: Coffee | Location: Malawi
Matenda Coffee Farms Limited is a specialty coffee producer based in Malawi. The company was founded in 2014 by the Matenda Msowoya family, who has been growing coffee since the early 1950s. Matenda Coffee Farms currently focuses on producing green Arabica beans and plans to establish a coffee roastery to increase the price per kilogram four-fold. The company is committed to creating a sustainable and socially responsible coffee supply chain by supporting smallholder farmers, especially women and restoring indigenous flora. The company also works closely with the local community to plant a variety of commercial trees, such as bananas and pines, to diversify local income streams. Learn more about the business in this pitch deck.
OncaPlanta Uganda Ltd
Contact: Lydia Nakayenze-Schubert | Email: email@example.com
Sector: Plant products; cosmetic oils; fertilizers; supplements | Location: Uganda
OncaPlanta develops products for plant, animal and human health from indigenous Ugandan plants. Their mission is to be a catalyst for economic transformation in Northern Uganda by developing the value chains for high value perennial seed cosmetic oils. Currently, their main products are Nilotica shea butter, moringa and desert date oils. OncaPlanta promotes agroforestry among local farmers, helping them integrate more trees in their fields and gradually increasing tree cover in the area. In doing so, the company creates synergies to achieve overarching social goals such as combating climate change through tree planting. Learn more about their business in this pitch deck.
Vokenel Enterprises Limited
Contact: Nelly Wambui Ngunguru | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sector: Baobab products | Location: Kenya
Vokenel Enterprises Limited partners with rural communities in Kenya’s semi-arid Makueni county to add value to the indigenous baobab tree. They source baobab fruits from at least 1000 farmers and process them into superfood oils and powders. Vokenel helps to conserve these indigenous trees by turning them into a source of income, encouraging local farmers to keep them in the ground. The company also plants baobab, moringa, marula, melia and tamarind seedlings to distribute to farmers. They are currently in the process of renewing EU organic certification to attract more international buyers and want to expand their nursery capacity to boost restoration and company revenues. Learn more about their business on this pitch deck.
Jeune Agro-Innovateurs du Mali
Contact: Fatoumata DIABY | Email: email@example.com
Sector: Compost and organic fertilizer | Location: Mali
Jeune Agro-Innovateurs du Mali provides expert training and high-quality agricultural inputs to local farmers to boost productivity and crop yields. Created in 2021, it has produced eight tons of rice seeds by applying the Rice Intensification System. Jeune Agro-Innovateurs du Mali’s model also promotes the use of organic fertilizer and seeds in crop production. The company is currently working on transforming water hyacinth, an invasive species and greenhouse gas emitter, into compost to reduce the use of chemical inputs in the sector and improve the productivity of local farmland. The company provides training, consulting and support services on innovative and environmentally friendly agricultural practices. Jeune Agro-Innovateurs du Mali plans to accelerate compost production, invest in modern materials, increase staffing and broaden the availability of their products among producers. Learn more about their business in this pitch deck.
Contact: SANI LAOUALI ADDOH Chafi | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sector: Sustainable Agriculture and Technology | Location: Niger
IPREN is an agricultural technology company that designs and produces modern solutions for farmers. IPREN’s latest work is SMART O’, an intelligent irrigation system that uses technology to optimize water usage. By monitoring weather patterns and soil moisture level, this technology ensures that crops receive the right amount of water at the right time. SMART O’ also provides alerts and notifications about potential issues, allowing farmers to quickly respond and prevent damage to crops. Moving forward, IPREN is looking to increase staff, expand into neighboring Burkina Faso and Côte d'Ivoire and invest in machine learning for agriculture. Learn more about their business in this pitch deck.
Mont des Oliviers Nemamiah
Contact: Albertine Atcho Kanga | Email: email@example.com
Sector: Honey | Location: Côte d'Ivoire
Mont des Oliviers Nemamiah is a company specialized in beekeeping and honey production. The company is based in Côte d'Ivoire and prioritizes environmental protection, biodiversity preservation and community engagement. Mont des Oliviers Nemamiah works with producers to place beehives on farms, improving pollination and thus increasing crop yields by 300-500%, as well as providing supplemental income for farmers. This model ensures that local communities have access to natural honey products, while also diversifying income streams and safeguarding the environment. Mont des Oliviers Nemamiah plans to increase the size of its staff, involve ten new farmers in honey production, and expand its customer base throughout Côte d'Ivoire and into Burkina Faso. Learn more about their business in this pitch deck.
Contact: LABODJA Ousmane | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sector: Nurseries and Seedlings | Location: Togo
TROPI-TECHNO works with local smallholder organizations to promote climate resilience by developing organic local seeds and native seedlings that help revitalize the land. Through a participatory community process, the seeds then receive organic certification, allowing the crops to sell at a fair price on the community organic market. Between 2020 and 2022, TROPI-TECHNO saw a 34% increase in soybean seed sales and a 162% increase in groundnut seed sales. TROPI-TECHNO Sarl plans to expand its programs in the three northern regions of Togo and diversify its work in the sesame, rice and yellow corn sectors. Learn more about their business in this pitch deck.