The agricultural industry is vital for the Ghanaian economy. Around 52% of the labour force work in the industry, meaning there is a heavy reliance on farming for Ghanaians to thrive.
For many farmers however, thriving can be difficult. The industry is turbulent and often uncontrollable, not only because of weather conditions but because of the costs involved to begin with.
Never before, farmers are seeing the reality of climate change: unpredictable rains, hot weathers, strong winds, rising sea levels, etc. And as the impact of climate change increases, farmers are beginning to fear for their livelihoods and coming generations.
That’s why non-profit social enterprise, Tieme NDO, has been launched. The goal of Tieme NDO is to provide the rural farmers, who experience inconsistent crop yields and thus revenue, a way to buy the farm inputs with the help of innovative payment programs. They also provide know-how and technologies to these farmers to improve their yields.
In order to continue the company’s growth, Tieme NDO needed specific help in fields such as forecasting, improving the financial models, calculating impact etc. They brought in the help of Enpact, a mentorship group working with ESMT Berlin MBA students. The students had to understand the company and provide suggestions and structure in the company’s roadmap.
Pranav Komarraju, one of the ESMT students who worked with Tieme NDO, says he immediately wanted to be part of the project when he heard about it. “An MBA from the previous cohort reached out to both our agricultural and consulting student clubs in February. I got the opportunity as part of the consulting club and I have worked previously with farmers in India so thought I could use some of my learnings here.”
These sustainable focused projects are a key element to many of the ESMT Berlin student’s development on the programme, and something many students take on extra-curricular to their studies. “What I realized is that MBA opens doors for different paths and It does depend on the student on where and how to use these skills. Working with Tieme NDO provided a different perspective and allowed me to utilise my MBA skills in a different field”, said Pranav Komaaraju.
So far the company has reached 2000 farmers in Ghana, and increased their average yield by 65%, by utilising greater technologies and raw materials. This in part, has been because of the impact of the ESMT Berlin students, who are now continuing to work with the company on a marketing plan to promote one of the company’s new payment program, which would be beneficial for both the farmers and the company.
For the future, the founder has a very ambitious vision for Tieme NDO: Zero poverty. He has already started creating ripples in the farmers communities and Farmers do see a value in using his services, and feel supported by the aid the company provides.