Early Beginnings

Founder's story

Our founder & CEO, Nikki grew up in Kumasi, Ghana 2 hours away from some of the farmers Chaku serves.

When she was 5 years old, her family moved to Massachusetts, USA for better educational opportunities for her and her 3 older siblings.

She gained great academic and professional experience earning a B.A. from Northwestern University and working at Google and then globally VISA Inc. while based in San Francisco, Johannesburg and Dubai.

Back in 2013, while working on growing VISA merchant payment across Africa based in Johannesburg, she noticed that farmers on the continent were not sharing in the phenomenal growth in the retail sector visible in VISA transaction data.

She eventually left VISA to pursue an idea that became Chaku Foods while earning her MBA at Harvard, where Chaku Foods won the President’s Innovation Challenge (PIC) in 2021. She became a Mulago Rainer Fellow in 2023.

Quick overview of Chaku Foods

Mission and Model

Chakula means food in Swahili. “Chaku” is a short version that honors the Ghanaian based company’s Pan-African aspirations. Our mission is to create wealth for African smallholder farmers

    In order to achieve this mission, we:

  • Map farmer lands using drone and geo-spatial data
  • Predict crop yields using AI based models to
  • Collect better quality and quantity crops for aggregators, processors and fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) companies

Through our ChakuTech platform, we aim to add billions of dollars in additional income for millions of small shareholder African farmers who lack access to markets due to lack of information on location of their farms, traceability and harvest timing of their crops, and aggregating capacity for small farm sizes

Our supporters

Funders and supporters

Teamwork is the key

The team behind us

Nikki Okrah

CEO and Founder

Ruth Norkor Annang

Operations and Planning

Ebenezer Ogoe

Technology Lead

Margaret Quaynor

Admin & Grant Support

Elaine Narh

Intern (Ashesi University, Engineering)

Meet our advisors


Rebekah Emanuel

Senior Advisor, Social Impact Harvard iLab

Peter Gladstone

Senior Advisor, B2C Harvard iLab

Phil Green

Sr. Advisor for B2B and technology Harvard iLab

Our community and field visits

Media Gallery