Balmed Holdings signed a Funding Agreement with the African Enterprise Challenge Fund. (AECF) The company was granted an 800.000 $ facility to upscale the Blockfarming operations and plant another 3.000 acres of treecrops using the Blockfarming System. Balmed will furthermore diversify into cashew production targeting the northern parts of Sierra Leone. The project will result in 930 direct project beneficiaries and an average Net Benefit of 945 $ per household per year, when crops reach full maturity.
In order to boost and increase its cocoa and coffee sales Balmed signed Trade Finance Agreement with the African Agriculture Trade and Investment Fund. (AATIF) The AATIF is an investment fund backed by the german development bank KfW, the International Labour Organisation (ILO), the Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the Deutsche Bank as Investment Manager and the Common Fund for Commodities as Technical Assistance Manager. The AATIF public private partnership facility provides various funding sources ranging from loans to equity investment.
In collaboration with the Mobile Empowerment Emerging Markets Research Department of the German based software firm SAP, Balmed is implementing a digital traceability system based on a mobile app, developed by SAP. The app is installed on smartphones, that are used by the Balmed staff to purchase products and track products through the whole supply chain digitally. The system clearly visualizes the operational areas and plantation sizes using GIS mapping. So far Balmed has submitted its masterdata to SAP for syncronisation and app configuration and has tested a first trial version of the app. The 2 year pilot shall „go live“ in the beginning of 2014. The digital product flow allows a exact monitoring of bying processes and gives a detailed overview of the total purchases and sales of the business.