When Erick Rajaonary entered the business of producing a natural fertilizer in Madagascar, he had to find the right words to explain a product made out of bat droppings. At first farmers where skeptical about the new product Guanomad: Sustainability was not a big factor to them in a market that is dominated by chemical fertilizers.
In an interview with How We Made It, Rajaonary talks about the challenges of introducing his product to the market and about the crisis his company as so many had to go through after a military coup in 2009 that brought economic and political turmoil to the country
In October 2013 Madagascar saw it first elections. Although the outcome of the elections is not clear, they are said to have been free and fair by accounts of international observers. Hopes are high that they will end the preceding years of uncertainty for the country.
Erick Rajaonary, a chartered accountant by profession, created Guanomad eight years ago. After the coup the company faced a sudden halt of subsidies and had to change its strategy. In 2011 Rajaonary began international operations, exporting the products to European, Asian and African markets.
Today the company is doing very well with almost 100 full-time employees. Guanomad is actively involved in community service and wants to contribute to the development of biodynamic agriculture and help tackle food insecurity in the country.
Its performance and sustainable business model has been recognized by the African Leadership Network which awarded Guanomad with the Outstanding Small and Growing Business Award. (Video courtesey Africa Awards for Entrepreneurship)
In the Africa Asset Management Magazine, Rajaonary pointed out:
“When one invests in a venture such as Guanomad you are financing everybody in the immediate area, creating the capacity not only to develop small holder farming in Madagascar, but also changing the food picture on the ground.”
Here is the company’s website.