Africa | August 28, 2023

Kentegra Biotechnology in Kenya scores $15 million for organic crop treatments

Jessica Pothering
ImpactAlpha Editor

Jessica Pothering

ImpactAlpha, August 28 – Imported crop treatments are expensive for smallholder farmers in Africa. Kentegra Biotechnology is helping farmers substitute affordable bio-pesticides for toxic chemicals on farms.

The company processes and sells pyrethrins, derived from pyrethrum flowers, which are naturally toxic to many pests; formulated correctly, they’re non-toxic to humans.

The business scored $15 million in a mix of debt and equity from the development finance institutions Finnfund and the US International Development Finance Corp. The funding will help Kentegra contract with 90,000 flower farmers to ramp up its production capacity. 

Reviving local production

Kenya was once the world’s largest producer of the pyrethrum flowers, a type of chrysanthemum flower. Production dwindled as demand for synthetic chemicals grew.

Kentegra contracts with 10,000 farmers, half of whom are women, and dispatches agronomists to train farmers in regenerative and organic practices. Farmers earn premium prices for the flowers compared to other crops, and can harvest every two to four weeks, boosting their income.