It took a visit to her grandmothers farm in Cameroon in 2013 for Manka to come up with the idea to set up Grassland.
As she helped her harvest her maize, she realised how very labour-intensive the process was. “We broke a lot of kernels and lost good grain. I knew it could be done differently,” Manka explains.
In discussion with her grandmother, Manka realised that a big issue was a lack of funding to purchase quality resources, including farm equipment. “Access to finance is difficult for most farmers and even the little that is available comes with an interest rate of 25-35%,” says Manka. Moreover, Cameroonian women rarely own the land they farm and laws forbidding ownership of agricultural land before the age of 40 exclude young farmers.
And so she decided to do something about it. Manka, 33, decided the answer would be to offer financing to farmers, which can be reimbursed in grain. Read more about her story here
This year on May 2nd 2019 Manka became a Laureate of the 2019 sub-Saharan Africa Cartier Women’s Initiative.
The Cartier Women’s Initiative is an annual international business competition created in 2006 to identify, support and encourage projects by women entrepreneurs.