Green agro cooling chain

More than 50 per cent of the crops harvested in East Africa go to waste due to poor cooling and storage facilities. The problem is particularly common in rural areas that are home to 70 – 80 per cent of the population.

The purpose of the Green agro cooling chain is to develop small scale cooling units that will allow local farmers to store and treat their produce after harvesting before they are transported to the market.

The cooling chain should consist of simple, mobile produce gathering places where crops can be protected from the sun and kept cool before they are moved to a larger cooling facility where they can be sorted, packed and stored before distribution to the market.

At the current population growth rate, food production needs to be increased with 70 per cent by 2050. There is a lot of potential to meet this demand in Africa – if solutions like the Green agro cooling chain can be developed.

Partners: SolarVenti (lead), Aros Teknik, PlanEnergi, the Technical University of Denmark

Where: Kenya

This project is supported by funding from the PIVØ-programme. Read more…

Dairy cooperatives in Uganda

access2innovation has been working with the dairy cooperative Uganda Crane Creamers Cooperative Union (UCCCU) to find sustainable solutions for the cooperative's 18.000 farmers.

The farmers in UCCCU face a series of challenges that start already at the milking bucket; they need access to a more hygienic way of milking and transporting the milk to the cooling stations, as well as a cooling system based on sustainable energy.

The project is not currently running with access2innovation partners, but you are welcome to download our icon pdf1 2012 concept note.

Watch the access2innovation video doc on the dairy challenges and possibilities below.


Small-scale coffee farming

The companies Farm Mountain Coffee and Agro Business Development wanted to look into the possibility of exploiting the market for gourmet coffee in Denmark. The outcome was the Farm Mountain Project which was supported by the Danida B2B program during a pilot phase.

The objective of the pilot phase was to develop a handling and quality assurance system for producing high quality coffee for the European gourmet market. In brief, it turned out very successfully.

Initially, 32 farmers from the Bududa district at Mount Elgon in Eastern Uganda were organised in order to produce a better quality of coffee beans - through training and a close cooperation.

Today, 930 farmers from 4 districts (Bududa, Sironko, Kapchorwa and Bufumbo) at Mount Elgon are involved in the project.

Exports to Denmark has risen from 20 MT (mega tonnes) during the first three years, to 40 MT in 2014.

The partners therefore feel motivated to continue the cooperation and have decided to form a Joint Venture. But whereas the partners during the pilot phase focused on producing and exporting coffee for the Danish market, they will now also be looking at other markets - including regional and domestic markets. They will now also be looking at the market for generic coffee (normal quality) as well as the market for green beans, in order to increase the turnover and the profitability of the company.

In order to meet these objectives, they need to invest in a coffee mill and increase the present storage facilities, especially in order to control the handling of the coffee and the logistics.

The objectives of the project (implementation) phase will be to:

  • upgrade the project by installing a coffee mill and increase storage facilities.
  • develop marketing strategies for other export markets as well as for the domestic and regional markets. Further to include marketing of green beans and generic coffee.
  • further upgrade the quality assurance system and secure a close cooperation with the farmers by continuous support in terms of training and CSR activities.
  • further upgrade the management of the company, especially in terms of management and info systems.
  • fully comply with national standards regarding external as well as the working environment and to improve the environment further whenever possible.

Access2innovation has granted funds to the company Agro Business Development A/S to work with Farm Mountain Coffeee and the small scale coffee farmers on Mt. Elgon in Uganda.

 icon pdf1 Download our 2015 concept note on agribusiness opportunities in East Africa.

For more information, please contact Henrik Anker-Ladefoged, CEO of Agro Business Development A/S.

Chilli farming in Uganda

Chilli peppers are grown as a cash crop by many small scale farmers in East Africa.

In 2011-2012, access2innovation was working with the NGO CARE to support chilli farmers near Fort Portal in Uganda near the Congolese border.

Chillies are fairly easy to grow and serves as a cheap repellent for marauding elephants and baboons, but the farmers needed access to a water pump to ensure a steady production, cold storage to prevent the harvested chillies from rotting and access to market price data to bargain a decent price for their product.

The project is no longer active, but you are welcome to browse through the icon pdf1 related concept note.

Watch the access2innovation video doc on chilli farmers below.


Solar powered chicken incubators

Rethinking the African agriculture and creating commercial farming is essential in order to meet the increasing demand for food.
Production of protein sources such as chickens are important for the nutritional health, but equally so for its market value.

Sunchick is a cooperation between the Danish companies Agro Business Development Ltd. and Danki Ltd. They have developed community based solar powered incubator units for sustainable chicken and egg production funded by micro loans.

With its design it enables a stable and controlled production cycle from egg to chicken all year round - securing a rise in the hatching process from 10 percent to 69 percent. With controlled feed supply, the chicken also become much more nutrient. This produces a high quality mix of eggs and broiler meat for the consumer segment.

With the enclosed compartments it is even possible to collect the chicken waste and use it as fertilizer. For the local producer, the chicken incubator improves yields dramatically by creating an enclosed, properly heated, more hygienic environment for the eggs to ensure lower mortality rates and provide healthier chickens.

Evidently, the production provides better quality with limited fixed costs thanks to built-in solar system.

One  Sunchick incubator unit

  • produces 6000 day old chickens per year
  • provides a yearly income for approx. 15 families of 550 - 1.100 euro
  • creates a added value in the local community of at least 13.500 euro per year. The derived impact on the wider community isestimated at factor 10-15.
  • improves the production of local chicken  through systematic breeding

One complete incubator system costs approx. 4.700 EURO (FOB). With the current market prices on eggs in Uganda, the payback time is max. 5 years.

access2innovation has supported Agro Business Development in Uganda in forming partnerships with:

  • Seniorer Uden Grænser (Seniors without Borders) - A Danish NGO with ties to Uganda that has facilitated the contact and collaboration with the Safe Neighbourhood Foundatio
  • Safe Neighbourhood Foundation - A Ugandan NGO that has supported in finding potential local farmers as well as collecting project relevant data.
  • Konserve Consult Ltd. - The local solar energy consultancy and technology company in Uganda in charge of installing and setting up the solar units. The company also manages the local maintenance of solar panels as well as providing the necessary spare parts.
  • Assima Agric Concern Lt. - A local farming consultancy company in Uganda in charge of training and educating the local farmers in proper caretaking of poultry, feed supply production, maintenance. The company also manages the establishment of a parent-farm to cultivate extended production throughout the district. They also provide vaccines for the livestock.

The incubator project is now being scaled up with the installation of 23 units in Uganda with funding from the Bestseller Foundation.

Watch our 2014 video spec on solar driven incubators below:

 For more information, please contact Henrik Anker-Ladefoged, CEO of Agro Business Development A/S

C. A. Olesens Gade 4, 3. sal, DK-9000 Aalborg, // c/o GrowAal

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