Our idea is to create a platform where small scale farmers and consumers meet to sell their produce. We also hope to source locally made technological devices for use in the processing of food which could have gone to waste. This would then be sold at subsidized price to the masses. Our long term plan is to use any profit made to purchase farm machineries which would be loaned to farmers during planting season to improve the effiency of their agricultural practice and also reduce cost.
Our most important customers are small scale farmers in Nigeria who cultivate their produce in remote areas and have no means or access to market their produce. These farmers are mostly uneducated, have low socio-economic income and rely on their produce for survival. They utilise traditional farming approach which is labour intensive and have low productivity. They have no access to information on improved farm practices and high yield crops.
Their value system is to undertake farming practices that minimises harm to the environment as such their produce are organic.
Their interest is to improve crop yield, enhanced access to market their produce and reduction in food waste.
These farmers belief in colloboration and networking as a means of mitigating against challenges they are facing but farmers cooperatives have been none existence in recent times.
The value we hope to deliver is to provide a social platform for farmers in colloboration with consumers who are interested in their farm produce. This will reduce the challenge of access to market. We also hope to minimise food waste by giving farmers access to utilise locally sourced processing device to process unsold farm produce which could have otherwise being wasted.
Customers would be willing to use our services because we are not profit driven. We will charge minimal cost for regiestration and once a farmer is registered with us, they will be educated and supported with informations and services for increased yield, their produce will be marketed and they can process or store excess agricultural produce using our technological devices.
Our service solve the problem of food wastage by processing excess crop produce and providing the market for sales of agricultural produce. We also enhance crop yield through educating the farmers on innovative farm practices and high yield crops to enhance production.
I want to have a partnership relationship with my customers where the opinion of each of them is important. I hope to do this by registering them as members to our organisation through the payment of membership fee which will be renewed annually.
This relationship will be maintained by making sure each customer feels supported and accepted in the organisation. We will also ensure that what we set out to achieve in this organisation will be achieved so that no customer feels cheated.
We will also work with the customers to make changes to processes and services that are less efficient so that each customer will get increased benefit in being part of this organisation.
The key activities in our organisation will be to:
1) Create a platform that brings buyers and sellers together to transact business
2) Provide services were members can get information on farming practices and high crop yields
3) Provide food processing device that will be used to process excess food produce
4) Provide storage facility to minimise wastage
5) Sell processed food at subsidized price to the populace
I am looking to approach Federal ministry of Agriculture, Nigeria for improved crop species
Some of my unanswered question include:
Will farmers accept to use this service?
Is the government going to support this venture?
All this questions remain unanswered however we have got the zeal and interest to surmount whatever challenge we face in the setting up of this venture.
World vision can help us by providing financial support and mentoring for us to start off this venture and sustain the progress anticipated.
I plan on making money through membership fees, sale of processed food at subsidized price and lending of processing device to farmers.
We hope to generate revenue that can sustain our service and help our expansion to different areas of Nigeria.
The initial cost we anticipate is cost for building mobile farm office and cost for food processing equipment.
A mobile farm office is required for housing farm equipment required in the farm to prevent theft and damage
The food processing equipment is essential especially during the harvest season so that farm produced that are not sold could be stored and processed to more stable form to prevent wastage.
Within Five years of this venture, we hope to breakeven and start making profit
The social mission of my enterprise is to reduce food wastage and poverty in Nigeria.
The rational for focusing on food wastage and poverty in Nigeria is based on the report that 80% of food are wasted in Nigeria, a country in which 61% of its citizen live in poverty according to BBC (2012). Therefore, if we can help farmers to be more productive and convert surplus food into more stabilised form, we are not only tackling food wastage but we are also reducing poverty and malnutrition with is deterimental to societal growth and development.
Chowberry is an app that minimises food wastage by identifying people who require food and connecting them to restaurant and supermarket that have surplus food. However, it does not cover post harvest food waste which I and my team are focusing on.
There are also fresh box, farm pro and farm drive in Kenya. These initiative focuses on creating storage for excess food, connecting farmers to sellers electronically and creating database where farmers keep a tab on their sales.
However, their innovations would not be appropriate for low income farmers who have no access to mobile devices or technology hence would be unable to use their innovative solutions.
But with our plan, the gaps in the above innovation would be bridged to enhance acceptability and use of our innovation to create marketplaces that are accessbile, create storage and processing device that are mobile and provide support and information for increased yield crop and improved farming practice.
We will increase awareness by working with village heads, farmer union, state agricultural ministries to inform people of the servies we deliver and how it will benefit their farm and income.
We will measure our impact by checking the number of members registered to our organisation every three months and consistently increase our drive to attain more membership within our organisational capacity
Strengths & Weaknesses
1) We are involved in small scale farming so we understand the farmers and the challenges they face
2) We are motivated to make a difference in the lives of farmers and to reduce poverty
3) We have pooled together our human resources and finance in running this project as a team
4) We have access to information and support available to farmers
1) Different personal commitment which affect our meeting time but we have devised a way to utilise technologically device to communicate about our vision and progress
The critical assumption I have made is that there is a link between poverty and food wastage and solving of one problem such as food wastage would directly cause a positive effect on proverty.
Most Significant Challenge
I am expecting challenge in gaining trust of the farmers based on their past experience and literacy level but i hope to mitigate this by working with village heads and Farmer's union to gain their confidence.
I also anticipate financial challenge in bringing this venture up to scale hence my application for this grant and efforts have been made to source for funds privately from friends and families.