Smallholder farmers in Kenya can reduce post-harvest losses estimated at $500m a year by using EBAgroPamoja, a mobile application that leverages digital tools to minimise inefficiencies and losses along entire agro-value chains by facilitating the efficient, timely and effective linkages of actors to complementary intervening solutions they need to enhance their enterprises.
In this, one can go online, access EBAgroPamoja at https://www.ebagropamoja.org/ and register their profile where it fits from upstream on farm level, to midstream value addition and on to downstream connection to markets. One can also go to the mobile application available on google play store at https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.trendpro.ebagropamoja
EBAgroPamoja does not create markets for farmers only, rather for actors along the entire continuum – so farm level actors, clean energy actors, agro-processors, logistics actors, financers, marketers – all get a market on EBAgroPamoja.
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This starts off at the upstream on-farm level, where farmers are linked to environmentally sustainable, non-chemicalised, natural agro-inputs like organic fertiliser, solar irrigation, natural seeds, etc. It then proceeds onto the midstream processing where actors are linked to clean energy solutions such as solar driers key to powering various forms of value addition to convert agro-produce to diverse products and on to the downstream where actors are linked to logistics services to enable haulage of produce to markets & end consumers. This includes promotion – where produce verified as having been grown using natural based approaches and processed using clean energy is promoted to niche markets among health, climate and environmentally conscious consumers.
The company offers discounts of up to 10 per cent on solar power driers, solar fridges and irrigation equipment to farmers where potential clients get to choose from the most affordable supplier that meets their requirements.
“In the course of pursuing solutions, rather than being fixated on problems, I came across a #hashTag on twitter called #InnovativeVolunteerism. The message was simple – that with the skills I already had, I would be guided to come up with an enterprise solution that taps into solving Kenya’s $500m a year postharvest losses (PHLs) problem,” said Steffi Maingi, the Director at EBAgroPamoja.
“This was my moment of epiphany, I immediately registered as an innovative volunteerism actor, and was guided to work with others of complementary skills and here we are, four months down the road, we have the EBAgroPamoja solution intervening to close inefficiencies along the entire agro-value chain,”
EBAGroPamoja also facilitates linkage to universal interventions of financing to enable actors in all these intervening areas access finance especially from cooperatives to capitalise their enterprises. Since its launch, it has engaged service providers, across the value chain with assets in excess of US$50,000 engaged for value exchange on solar driers, biogas systems, solar fridges, solar irrigation and water harvesting solutions.
Another area the company is engaged in is training. In this, it facilitates youth skills retooling by linking them to entrepreneurs engaged in all these intervening areas so they can be trained to also start their own enterprises. By facilitating these multisectoral and multifaceted linkages, EBAgroPamoja ensures the losses across the agro-vaue chains is recouped and converted into incomes – driving enterprises, food security and money in more pockets.
“Africa’s most sovereign capital is its people and especially the majority youth. Human capital constitutes 62 per cent of total wealth and this is four times higher than produced capital and 15 times higher than natural capital,” said Maingi.
“But these youth need to have their skills retooled – refined, improved and aligned – to develop scalable enterprise solutions that intervene to bridge the gaps along entire agro-value chains. By this, EBAgroPamoja will not only be solving Kenya’s PHLs but creating income & enterprise opportunities for youth,”