About Us

Get to know us

Lucsom was founded in 2016 by a dynamic team of business leaders, humanitarians and agricultural experts to transform the animal feeds industry and end the cycle of poverty in Africa. Our work has far-reaching benefits for communities because livestock are not only a source of meat and milk in rural areas, but also a form of currency in informal banking. Drought leaves farmers at a huge risk of losing their investment to starvation.

 

By commercializing drought-resistant fodder trees, farmers have access to a high quality, more affordable alternative to feed options currently available. As a team, we’ve developed a model that’s benefits are twofold because livestock can graze directly off the trees, and the biomass can also be harvested for processing and conversion to animal feed.

Team

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CEO

Devan Khagram

Devan has over 25 years' experience in agribusiness in the region, particularly in Ethiopia and Kenya. Businesses include animal feed manufacture, oil seed processing and cotton ginning. In addition, he has run extension programs with 8000 smallholder farmers in semi-arid regions in Kenya. Within Lucsom, he leads the strategic direction for the company in the operations, fundraising, business development, and manufacturing divisions.

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Technical Advisor

Leah Armstrong

Leah provides expertise on seed production, seedling propagation and nursery design and management. She has more than 10 years' experience working with fodder trees in South Africa, and food security projects in East Africa. She is a landscape architect and farmer and in 2011, took over the management of Damara Farm to further the work that her father, Gavin Armstrong, began in the early 1990’s.

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Extension Manager

Sital Panara

Sital has over 15 years’ experience in the agricultural sector in Kenya. He has run extension programs with more than 5,000 smallholder farmers in the cotton industry for over 8 years. He played a major role in implementing the cotton ‘contract farming’ model in Kenya and spearheaded the Better Cotton Initiative pilot program. Sital also sits on numerous cotton stake-holder forums in different capacities in Kenya.

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Project Manager, Somalia

Abdulkadir Ali

Leading Lucsom’s Somali work is Abdulkadir Ali who has 10 years' experience in project management and implementation of development programs in agribusiness under the UN in Kenya, Ethiopia and South Sudan. He is responsible for engaging the private sector, investors and cooperatives in market-based socio-economic assessments, value chain developments and monitoring and evaluation.

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Advisor

Alan Robertson

Alan has worked in +30 countries in Asia, Africa, and the Pacific, with a range of development agencies. He has extensive experience in project implementation, smallholder livestock systems, agroforestry, land management, and mobilization of large numbers of smallholder farmers. He specialises in forage development, including strengthening of forages within farming systems and the use of forages in rehabilitating degrading land.

Partners

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Monitoring and Reporting

Darusalam Seed Company

Darusalam Seed Company (DASE) was set up in 2007 and focuses on research & development, production methodology, quality control of agricultural produce, and capacity building of the local farmers. Its goal is to promote agricultural productivity, food security, and increased livelihoods in Somalia by providing quality seeds and training on modern farming practices. DASE works with ~1000 small-scale farmers in the lower Shabelle region and has extensive experience in seed multiplication and nursery management, and providing seeds, training, fertilizers, agro-chemicals, farm implements and infrastructure machines in Somalia and in working with various co-operatives. DASE also partners with various international development organizations to enhance agricultural productivity in Somalia.

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Financial Advisors

Open Capital Advisors

A leading management consulting and financial advisory firm based in Nairobi, Open Capital Advisors (OCA) guides Lucsom’s operational and feasibility research.
OCA works alongside their clients to ask the important questions, develop actionable recommendations, and achieve lasting results. Since 2010; they have completed more than 200 engagements across more than 16 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. Their Africa based team of 50 offers experience from the world’s top consultancies, private equity firms, investment banks, and development organizations including The Boston Consulting Group, Citigroup, Credit Suisse, IFC, McKinsey, and The World Bank.

Join the team

The commercialisation of fodder trees for pellet production presents a lucrative market opportunity for investors and is a powerful way to break the cycle of poverty and famine in Africa. But we need your help. Government and non-government organisations, aid funders, donors and investors are invited to get in touch to find out more about our work and how we can make a difference together.