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O-Farms: Five Enterprises Walk Away With 50, 000 Euros to Boost their Circularity Businesses As We Strive To Build A Circular Economy

Ensuring a healthy supply of food to African cities while managing food waste and loss caused by agricultural practices and supply chains is one of the major challenges we have in this region; and one that we’re addressing through the O-Farms program” – Brenda Wangari, Senior Business Manager Village Capital Africa.

O-Farms, the agri-circularity program led by Bopinc and Village Capital and funded by IKEA Foundation has been running for 15 Months now with E4Impact as the implementing partner. From Monday 27th March to Friday 31st March 2023 the 10 businesses that formed the 2nd cohort of the program underwent Workshop Three which focused on helping the entrepreneurs redefine their business ask and models for more business efficiency and effectiveness; hence more success through higher returns.

With funding being one of the major challenges of SMEs, this workshop also paid keen attention to training on investor readiness with a practical approach where interactive and pitching sessions with investors were organized. At the end of the workshop, five of the businesses walked away with funding amounting to 50, 000 Euros while five other businesses will continue enjoying the benefits of the program in the form of technical support; marketing and branding, business & financial consultancy, and market and partner linkages among others.

The ten businesses forming O-Farms Cohort 2 are:

Agribusiness Solutions – offers a variety of agri -circularity products. They aggregate avocadoes to process extra virgin avocado oil for human consumption.

EcoRich Solutions – makes affordable carbon-friendly organic fertilizers from household waste.

Janabichi Agri Solutions – converts rejected tomatoes and capsicum to various sauces.

Organic Fields – converts market food waste into organic fertilizer for use in crop production.

Korogocho Market Traders Association (KMTA) – uses overripe avocados to extract avocado oil, avocado seeds to make biofuel, overripe bananas to make smoothies, dry banana leaves(charred) to make briquettes and finally compost the rest of the organic waste from the market including fruits and vegetables to make organic compost.

Soil Doctors – makes low-cost, biodegradable carbon-sink bag sheaths, which cover trees and enable their independent growth without irrigation.

Stawi Seeds Ltd. – uses spoiled papaya fruits to make organic fertilizers. They also dry and ground Papaya peels, leaves and seeds to make powder which is used in animal feeds as a dewormer as well as consumed by humans to reduce levels of gastritis. In addition, papaya seeds are pressed to produce oil which has several medicinal uses.

Vermitech Consultants Ltd. – manufactures Boom Max organic foliar; an organic water-based fertilizer that is made by recycling market waste. This involves blending vermicompost tea and an organic biostimulant.

Yummy Pot Ltd. – sells instant mashed potato flour and raw potato flour to households and businesses. They make the flour from potatoes considered as waste by farmers.

Sbike Limited – uses organic waste from produce markets to produce biofuel.

EcoRich Solutions, Yummy Pot, Organic Fields, Vermitech Solutions, and Sbike Limited walked away with the 50, 000 Euros.

The Senior Business Manager, of Village Capital Africa – Brenda Wangari had this to say as the training phase of the program came to an end: ”Ensuring a healthy supply of food to African cities while managing food waste and loss caused by agricultural practices and supply chains is one of the major challenges we have in this region; and one that we’re addressing through the O-Farms program.”

Check out the O-Farms circular idea blender to see how food waste and by-products can make circular products, with real-world examples of companies already embracing circularity.

By Wanjiru Kaburu, Communication & Marketing Lead – E4Impact Center, Kenya.

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