Bennie Agro Processing Company Limited produces machinery for agricultural mechanisation. Jerry Isaac Mallo is the founder and CEO of Bennie Agro. Since he was a little boy, Jerry has been fascinated by technology and machines. Already in primary school, his curiosity and persistence in trying to understand the composition of machines resulted in technical innovations. Later, he received a scholarship to study one year in the UK to enhance his engineering skills. When asked for his motivation to come back to Nigeria after his year abroad, he stated: “If we leave Nigeria, who will develop Nigeria?”. To him, it was always clear to only go abroad for acquiring skills but to then come back to apply this knowledge in his own country.
Jerry’s mission is to support farmers by providing them with better and cheaper machinery than the imported models. He visits them on their farms to find out what their exact needs are. He is the first person who constructed a tractor in Nigeria and today he builds de-stoning, planting, harvesting, threshing, milling, peeling and polishing machines to process maize, potatoes, groundnuts, rice, yam and cassava. He also engages in the installation of irrigation systems that run with solar power.
The Impact of the SME Loop
Major changes achieved during the SME Loop:
- Participating in the SME Loop enabled Jerry to become more focused, register his business, and keep financial records as well as records of all business activities.
- The SME Loop also provided an opportunity for contact and networking with farmers and other entrepreneurs, which are potential customers and suppliers.
- Today, Jerry sells his products all over Nigeria and his work has received a lot of attention not only by the local government but also by the Federal Government of Nigeria. On August 2nd, 2018, Bennie Agro received the National MSME Award of the Year, which was accompanied by prize money of one million Naira.
- Jerry has also received financial assistance from Mwaghavul Micro Finance Bank and Light Micro Finance Bank. In addition to this, he received support from the Plateau State Microfinance Development Agency (PLASMIDA). Both micro finance banks and PLASMIDA have been supported by GIZ in the areas of capacity development.
Impact in Figures
- Bennie Agro’s annual income has increased 23 fold one year after the start of the SME Loop.
- 5 permanent and 15 part-time jobs created.
The SME Loop
The SME Business Training and Coaching Loop (SME Loop) is a combined approach of basic and advanced entrepreneurship trainings and individually tailored business coaching, spanning over a 6 months period. The SME Loop approach was developed by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH in Sierra Leone and further enhanced by GIZ in Benin Republic. It was conceptualised as a mix of tools from various institutions including the Financial Literacy Toolkit from GIZ Nigeria. In Nigeria, the Pro-Poor Growth and Promotion of Employment in Nigeria Programme – SEDIN, implemented by GIZ and funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), aims to foster employment and increase income of MSMEs. This is done through financial systems development as well as private sector development. In April 2017, SEDIN started to adapt and apply the SME Loop approach with a thorough application process and a total of 252 enterprises (about 30% headed by women) certified in 2018 for successful completion of the SME Loop.
“What Dangote is in food production, I want to become in the production of agricultural machinery. The agricultural sector is left behind in Nigeria, leaving a big gap in the mechanization of agriculture, which I plan to fill.”
Jerry Isaac Mallo about his ambitions