Partnerships and collaborations for business growth
Meru Agro-Tours and Consultants Co. Ltd is a local private company that specializes in agricultural inputs business. Specifically the company deals with Multiplication and distribution of agro seeds, Importation and distribution of agrochemicals, distribution of agricultural equipments, provision of technical advisory services on farm input use and management; and research to address critical issues facing the farmers.
The company was registered in 2005 and started operations in October 2006 as an agrovet/agro dealership. At the time, Chacha Watanga was in employment. In 2009, he left his management position job to give his growing business the much needed attention. The company has its head quarters in Arusha and has branches in Mbeya and Mwanza. In addition to the branches, the company has representatives in more than five regions in Tanzania.
Meru Agro has a leased farm of 1100 acres where they compliment out grower seed production. Currently the company is working with more than 20 farmers who grow their seed. In the 2013/2014 season the company produced more than 1500 tonnes of seeds. Seed distribution is done through government subsidy program, agro dealers, farmer cooperative union and individual farmers who purchase from the company outlets.
Chacha joined Africa Agribusiness Academy (AAA) in 2010 and is one the founding members. The networking and interactions have gone a long way in growing the company and getting business linkages. He is one of the grantees of the Africa Enterprise Challenge Fund (AECF). “I hope to explore the opportunity of doing business with Ngila Kimotho from Dryland Seed and Dr Stephen Birungi of Farm Support Limited.”
Some of the factors that have contributed to the success of his business include networks, exercising patience, reinvesting profits back into the business, minimizing costs, extensive staff training and farmer’s extension services. In addition to that a strong management team and Board of Director have also played a big role.
Meru Agro works in close partnership with AGRA, CIMMYT, AATF and collaborates with the WEMA project. “The study tours and business development services we have received from these organizations have contributed immensely in the growth of this business,” notes Chacha.