This limits the basic personal attention that the grower needs. We complement government work by offering one private extension agent or PEA for every group of forty farmers. Our extension agents enter a one-month, intensive field school called PEA College to prepare them to provide the highest-quality support to farmers. During this month, they acquire the core skills they need to best support their fellow farmers. Also, they recruit farmers they will work with in the coming season. For twelve months, PEAs are paid a stipend by Good Nature, but once crops are sold, they shift to commission-based compensation depending on the sale of crops produced by the farmers they train. This aligns incentives for PEAs, farmers, and Good Nature to produce as much high-quality seed as possible.

What have you achieved so far?

We have sustainably scaled with targeted support from aligned partners. In our first year, we piloted our model with 40 growers. We have recently expanded operations to two new districts, and we now work with a total of 5,200 growers. We have 23 highly qualified full-time employees and 150 local private extension agents. Our Legume catalogue has increased, we now produce five main seed crop varieties: Peanut, soya beans, pigeon peas, black eyed beans and sugar beans. In the last season with 2,200 growers, we produced more than 400 metric tons of seed. We have entered strategic partnerships with some of the best organisations in the region, fostering our capacity and credibility with growers. Some of these partnerships include USAID, Catholic Relief Services, GIZ, Musika, World Renew and the Government, through the Ministry of Agriculture.

Looking back, what did you miss in your own professional training?

Entrepreneurship is a great frontier, and it teaches you a lot of the skill on the job.