[Interview] Eric Acquah, Founder, AcquahMeyer Drone Tech, Ghana
Ghanaian entrepreneur, Eric Acquah, uses his experience in the Aerospace and Aviation industry to better Agriculture and farm productivity in Ghana.
Could you introduce your company?
AcquahMeyer Drone Tech is an agricultural drone technology company founded in 2017.
Plant protection products bring their challenges. Their residues on the crops often create trade-barriers towards potential buyers in foreign countries. Exposure to the products present health risks to the farmers. Toxic and chronic effects to the environment are well known and are a concern not only to environmentalists but also to governments and the general public; ironically farmers cannot produce a marketable crop without plant protection products. This is why we started our company. We're essentially an AgriTech outfit that uses drone technology to bring technological advancement in agriculture as well as dealing with the plant protection issues in Africa.
Where is AcquahMeyer Drone Tech located?
We're at 81 Boundary Road, Madina-Accra Ghana.
Who are your clients?
The customers are smallholder farmers, commercial farmers, Input dealers and other stakeholders who support farmers to use technology to maximise productivity such as Cocoaboard, GIZ as well as pesticide manufacturers like Bayer, Andermatt Biocontrol and Syngenta.
What are the best selling points of the company?
AcquahMeyer Drone Tech uses well-designed drones that are meant for spraying and other related activities to assist farmers maximise production.
Currently we have the drones for applying agrochemicals and the bird scaring drone that repels birds that feed on crops. We also have drones with multispectral sensors for crop and soil analysis.
How is the company funded?
It's always difficult to raise money for startups because investors do not care to be a part of the inevitable mistakes and trial-and-error that stalks every new venture. I believe in investing in what you believe in. Our initial startup capital was 250,000 Euros from mine and my wife's personal savings.
How has the Ghanaian Agriculture market responded to your services?
Africans are generally slow to change, and it would serve us to accept and embrace new ways of doing things. Fortunately for us though, we came in at a time farmers were looking for a faster way to control pests and diseases, and at a time labour is scarce in agriculture. Our services are in good demand and we are growing at a satisfactory rate.
What do you need to expand and reach more farmers in Africa?
I believe that collaboration instead of competition is the best way for startups to grow stronger. The Ghanaian Government needs to provide a more conducive environment for startups to thrive.
We are working to expand into four countries next year - Cameroon, Cote D’ivoire, Uganda and Baukina Faso. We hope to achieve this, and other goals, by making strategic partnerships and collaborations. We also strive to be the best in service line, staying ahead of the competition at all times.
What is the company's direction for this year?
We started 2019 with our “making agriculture popular to the youth” campaign. We are organising workshops and seminars, teaching the young people how technologies like ours is changing agriculture and making farming easier and more lucrative as a business.
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