“Globally, a third of the food produced is lost or wasted due to inefficiencies in harvesting, storage, packing, transport, and infrastructure, amounting to about 1.3 billion tons of food at an estimated cost of USD $1 trillion globally.”
We are proposing a solution that will turn farmers to entrepreneurs and transform the fragmented agricultural supply chain in Africa and help smallholder farmers get the maximum earnings possible by getting rid of middlemen and connecting them directly to markets. Due to lack of storage, most smallholder farmers are left with no choice than to sell their produce at farmgate prices to middlemen who make a higher profit margin than the farmers themselves. According to a study conducted in Ghana in 2012, middlemen made 40 to 70% of the final price of agricultural products. Similarly, a study conducted in India in 2015 found out that middlemen made about 64 to 83% of the farmgate price. Additionally, value additions to the farmers’ produce tremendously increase the selling price of the final product. Therefore, we will also create value added products so that the farmers can benefit and earn more money from their produce.
Initially, we will work with onion and potato smallholder farmers, and we will diversify to include more types of produce once we have proven our model. We decided on onions and potatoes because they are highly impacted by post harvest losses in Africa and as a result, they often need to be imported due to shortages. For instance, Nigerian farmers lose as much as 50% of their onions due to post harvest losses.
We believe it is very important to tackle the following in order to reduce post harvest loss and increase the earning potential of smallholder farmers:
We will tackle the above by providing:
Value Added Products: We will create value added products and sell them to supermarkets, hotels, vendors, etc. Since we will be initially focusing on onions and potatoes, we will also be providing value added products such as:
frozen french fries which we will mostly market to hotels and restaurants as it is a popular menu item
potato chips (regular & baked)
Access to Markets:
Local markets: We will form relationships with market vendors in towns and cities. Since we will be getting rid of middlemen, farmers will benefit from higher prices, and the cost of food will also be affordable as we pass down the savings to market sellers who will in turn pass it down to their customers.
Global market: We will be able to aggregate the produce of the farmers we work with and sell and export them to the global market.
If you have any questions