Kanjirowa Agro Farm welcomes investment from NIIC

Kanjirowa Agro Farm welcomes investment from NIIC

The Kathmandu-based agrotech company Kanjirowa Agro Farm obtains an investment of 220.000 Euro from the Nepal Impact Investment Community (NIIC). Director Sadhuram Singh Basnyat will use the capital injection to expand Kanjirowa’s production capacity in Nepal. “Our quality seedlings help farmers to increase their output by 30%.”

 

Faster than expected

“We are one of the first companies of this year’s accelerator programme to receive an investment,” says director Sadhuram Singh Basnyat with a big smile. He immediately attracted the interest of NIIC-members after he pitched his company in Kathmandu, Amsterdam and London this spring. “It all went faster than I expected,” laughs Sadhuram, who can now follow his dream to simplify the life of farmers in Nepal.

 

Expertise from Israel

Sadhuram, who comes from a farming background himself, started Kanjirowa in 2012 with two partners. “When I visited a number of greenhouses on the outer edges of Kathmandu, I realized that farmers who had returned from working in Israel had a remarkably better standard of living than other farmers, just because they were using slightly different farming methods. I decided to enroll for a training at the Centre of Excellence for Vegetables in Haryana, India, an Indo-Israeli initiative. They taught me how to improve the production of vegetables and fruits in every condition and weather.”

 

Quality seedlings

Back in Kathmandu, Sadhuram started growing tomatoes and set up a small scale seedling production unit with a small investment of his business partner. In 2017 Kanjirowa received a government grant of 50.000 dollars to set up a high tech greenhouse for seedling production. “This is the first facility of its kind in Nepal,” the entrepreneur says proudly. “We produce seedlings for 21 different varieties of fruits and vegetables such as tomato, capsicum & leafy vegetables. The seedlings have a uniformed growth with high yields and better adaptability to the environment.”

 

Focus

Kanjirowa now focuses on high-quality vegetable seedling production only. “In the traditional soil-based production process 40% of seeds are lost because they are contaminated by soil born diseases and do not germinate. The seeds that germinate, take over a week to grow into a seedling. At Kanjirowa, we have a soil-less high tech facility where we germinate all seeds within 24 hours. We produce in a controlled environment, which reduces the risk of diseases considerably. By doing so, we can provide disease-free, well-aged, uniform growth seedlings to Nepalese farmers.”

 

Sales via municipalities

Nepalese farmers are willing to pay a premium for Kanjirowa’s seedlings because they increasingly realize the value the company is offering. “We have currently sold to over 650 farmers, both in and outside of Kathmandu. We are currently in the process of engaging municipalities throughout the country to include our seedlings in their farmers support policies. 21 municipalities have already agreed to do so. This will be a serious boost for our sales. We already have orders for 150.000 dollars. So I am really glad that we have received an investment from NIIC: we need to expand our production capacity rapidly.”