Jun 9, 2021

UK-Kenya Tech Hub & Future Females support women in AgriTech

Food
agritech
FutureFemales
kenya
Helen Adams
2 min
The UK-Kenya Tech Hub has partnered with Future Females to support 40 Kenyan female AgriTech entrepreneurs

In partnership with Future Females, the UK-Kenya Tech Hub will support 40 female entrepreneurs and their AgriTech businesses in a new programme. 

This growth will be facilitated by the adoption of Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP) Patterns and the programme will also provide capacity enhancement for Green Business Development and Eco-Entrepreneurship in the Agricultural Sector.

 

Women lead AgriTech in Kenya

The partnership began in October 2020 and concentrated on facilitating entrepreneurial training for women in Kenya. Now, the partnership continues to excel with programmes addressing AgriTech.

The Kenyan agricultural sector is experiencing some difficulty, due to: 

  • Insufficient storage 
  • Poor market competition
  • Slow productivity
  • Expensive farm inputs
  • Climate change causing unpredictable weather conditions

 

All across the planet, food systems are facing uncertainty due to warmer temperatures. This partnership is an opportunity to future-proof Kenya’s agricultural industry. 

The programme will also focus on the UN Sustainable Development Goals, such as:

  • Goal 2 End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture
  • Goal 12 Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns
  • Goal 15 Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss
  • Goal 17 Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development

A pilot programme has begun and this will focus on gender inclusion in Kenyan agricultural practices.

 

AgriTech challenges provide business opportunities in Kenya

Leaders are excited to see how this programme will expand the AgriTech industry in Kenya.

“The agriculture sector is plagued with low productivity, huge post-harvest losses and weak market linkages”, said UK-Kenya Tech Hub Country Director Sheena Raikundalia. “These challenges provide great business opportunities. The UK- Kenya Tech Hub is excited to support 40 female Kenyan AgriTech founders to grow their businesses – these fantastic women will be the future of food feeding in Kenya, Africa and the world.”

“Agriculture is so true to Africa”, Future Females Co-Founder, Cerina Bezuidenhout. “Food production was and will always be the most important and needed product in our existence. Being from Africa myself, and with a food scientist background, this program is very close to my heart. Future Females is incredibly excited to be working with the UK-Kenya Tech Hub to have the reach and impact to both different sectors of business, and helping women build profitable businesses to live a life they are excited and proud of.”

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Jun 11, 2021

SokoFresh's cold storage units will stop food waste in Kenya

Food
foodtech
kenya
SokoFresh
Helen Adams
2 min
Many smallholder farmers in Kenya lack access to cold storage facilities. The new pay-as-you-go storage units from SokoFresh will decrease food waste

A foodtech company in Kenya is using solar energy to help smallholder farmers keep harvested produce cool to prevent food waste.

SokoFresh is a member of The Circulars Accelerator, an initiative to help entrepreneurs scale innovations that will help the world move towards a circular economy – in which waste is eliminated and resources are used again and again.

 

New cold storage units to prevent food waste

Small-volume farmers who grow avocados, mangos and French beans in Kenya, are helping to test the model from SokoFresh, which manages mobile cold storage units, that run on 100% solar energy.

By paying a small amount (1 Kenyan shilling) per kilogram on a pay-as-you-go basis, farmers or produce buyers can affordably access cold storage, when they need it.

SokoFresh plans for 400 cold storage units, in five years, to boost income for 35,000 farmers.

 

Cold storage units will support Kenya’s farmers 

About 90% of Kenya’s agricultural produce comes from smallholders, who don’t have the kind of cold storage solutions available to large-scale producers. This means lots of produce perishes in outside temperatures after being harvested.

“More than 30% of all food produced in the world for human consumption gets lost or wasted”, said a representative from SokoFresh says. “Food loss in Africa occurs almost entirely in the production and distribution stages.”

Farmers using the model can earn up to 50% more on their harvest, while buyers receive more and better quality produce.

The cost of logistics is also reduced, because trucks are picking up full loads that have been stored in the cold storage units by multiple farmers.

Enviu, the Netherlands-based impact venture organization behind SokoFresh, hopes to have a network of 400 cold storage units in the next five years. This would help 35,000 farmers, creating 3,000 new jobs in rural areas and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

 

Sokofresh supports UN Sustainable Goal 12

Around 14% of food is lost after harvest on farms and at the transport, storage, processing and wholesale stages, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. This food has a value of more than $400b a year.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres last year described food loss and waste as an “ethical outrage.”

“In a world with enough food to feed all people, everywhere, 690 million people continue to go hungry and three billion cannot afford a healthy diet,” he said.

By 2030, UN member states have pledged to halve food waste and reduce food loss as part of Sustainable Development Goal 12.

SokoFresh is a part of the solution to food security and ending food waste.

 

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