Chilasa Venture Philanthropy, a pioneer in supporting micro and small enterprises (MSMEs) through its investment ecosystem, today announced an investment in GloTech Organics Pvt Ltd, an Indian agricultural product manufacturer specialising in neem and seaweed based organic fertilisers.
The United Nations estimates that global food production must increase 70% by 2050 to feed an estimated population of 9 billion people. Sustainable agriculture is critical to meeting this challenge and achieving global food security. In India, there are approximately 263 million farmers cultivating over 51 per cent of the land mass measuring 1.6 million square kilometres. The average land holding per farmer is 1.5 acres. An estimated 340,000 of these farmers are dedicated to organic farming, cultivating 12,010 square kilometres of land certified for organic produce. The biggest challenges Indian farmers face are soil degradation, increased input costs and reduced profitability. 60% of farmers depend on monsoon rainfall over irrigation, making their crop output and livelihood precarious.
GloTech was founded in Tiruchi, India in the year 2007 by Augustine Rajendran, with the mission to develop organic fertilisers that promote sustainable agriculture. Augustine and his team have developed a proven portfolio of organic products that meet the needs of farmers and set new benchmarks for the neem and seaweed based fertiliser industry in India. The product portfolio includes Nemate Gro, a fertiliser rich in organic carbon substance, Seamic L and Seamic G that have a high concentration of natural growth hormones and an ability to carry the same to the plant. These products conserve soil and water and increase the photosynthetic efficiency of crop plants, while retaining the traditional knowledge of using plant-based products for plant protection and nutrition. GloTech’s products are certified by INDOCERT and can be used in combination with chemical fertilisers, reducing dependency on synthetics by 50 per cent, or used exclusively for inputs in organic cultivation.
Farmers using GloTech products benefit from increases in crop yield by over 22 per cent while maintaining cost efficiency. These products provide an essential intervention for farmers using both organic and non-organic methods and seeking to reduce their costs, improve soil quality and increase crop yield.
In 2009 Augustine received the ISBA entrepreneurship award, and in 2013 GloTech was recognised by the All India Management Association, winning the Dr JS Juneja award for Creativity and Innovation for Micro, Small and Medium enterprises (MSMEs). Prior to founding GloTech, Augustine spent 10 years in research and marketing roles within the Indian fertiliser industry.
Chilasa will support GloTech with operational and marketing expertise to expand domestic and international markets, as well as focus on new product development with the assistance of Chilasa’s ecosystem partner universities. R. James, Head of Entrepreneurship at Chilasa, who has over twenty years of manufacturing experience and has mentored over 20 investee enterprises, said: “GloTech’s strengths lie in a strong management team with good experience in the organic input and growth promoter sector. GloTech is well positioned to become a primary Indian producer of organic fertilisers.”
Augustine Rajendran of GloTech Organics, said: “Apart from Chilasa’s financial investment, which gives us the capital inflow to expand, I am excited about the support offered by the Chilasa team, who will provide their unique expertise in new product and market creation, operational best practices, as well as entry into a wide network of clients. This will result in a fresh, accessible solution for farmers wishing to shift to more sustainable methods, as well as tremendous growth for us in India.”
Joseph Thomas, Director of Impact at Chilasa and member of the Core Advisory Group on Sustainable Agriculture of the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) said: “GloTech’s primary principles of using locally available material to create organic inputs that are cost effective and that support agricultural systems, are all in line with the UNGC’s Food and Agriculture Business Principles. This validates their commitment to sustainability and providing practical solutions to farmers who are committed to sustainable agriculture. We believe GloTech will have a major impact in the food, nutrition and agricultural sectors.”
Founded in Geneva and Chennai in 2012, Chilasa invests in small growing businesses located in disadvantaged communities. [Its] mission is to break the cycle of poverty by building sustainable enterprises that create jobs and drive economic growth.
The Chilasa investment ecosystem consists of four integrated services providing small businesses with one partnership solution to support enterprise growth. This includes: financing, market access support, capacity building, and research & development.
Investments are financed by Chilasa Angels, a network of focused investors committed to solving poverty through good business.