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Funding Opportunity for a Regenerative Future of Kenya
Building a Local Regenerative Economy Through Startups and Smallholder Farmers in Kenya
Motherland🌍 believes that startups have the potential to transform agriculture for the better and is committed to promoting linkages between African startups and smallholder farmers in Kenya. This season, the focus is on linking farmers in the sweet potato value chain with startups that provide solutions to various challenges faced during the postharvest value chain, especially the market. Sweet potatoes are a staple crop in Kenya, grown by small-scale farmers mainly in western Kenya.
Challenges in Storage, Transportation, and Market Access for Small-Scale Sweet Potato Farmers Despite sweet potatoes' popularity and nutritional value, farmers often face challenges in storage, transportation, and, most importantly, markets. Bulky roots, fluctuating prices, low market prices, middlemen exploitation, and lack of market access are some of the issues that small-scale farmers face.
Startups and Smallholder Farmers Collaboration for Sustainable and Equitable Food System Motherland🌍 takes an innovative approach by creating an accelerator for a cluster of startups that interlink and form a working economic ecosystem. One startup uses mobile technology to connect farmers with buyers in real time, enabling them to negotiate prices and make sales on the spot. Another provides direct market linkages to buyers and processing facilities, allowing farmers to add value to their sweet potatoes and sell them at higher prices. By joining these and other startups, a sustainable working environment is created, bringing one solution and multiple solutions required in a specific value chain. This approach supports startups and connects them with sweet potato farmers to provide the tools and resources they need to overcome challenges like market access and fair prices for their produce. It also contributes to the development of local economies and the reduction of food waste.
Culinary Possibilities of Sweet Potatoes and Supporting Small-Scale Farmers Sweet potatoes offer many culinary possibilities, from sweet pies and desserts to savory soups and stews. As consumers, the next time we enjoy a delicious sweet potato dish, we should remember the farmers who grew it and the startups who helped to bring it to our table. By supporting small-scale farmers, we can build a more sustainable and equitable food system for all.
Inspiration from a Champion of Conservation Agriculture Motherland🌍 recently had the pleasure of meeting an inspiring farmer, Joseph, in a village called Gori in Siaya, who is committed to practising safe and sustainable agricultural practices. Joseph walked us around his farm, talking us through all his knowledge, and from his facial expressions, we could see how passionate he was. He practices minimal tillage, which helps to conserve soil moisture, reduces soil erosion, and promotes soil health. He also has a vermicompost produced by himself, which he uses to enrich his soil with organic matter and nutrients and uses the juice/liquid from the compost as a pesticide. His commitment to sustainability and safety is a reminder that agriculture is not just about producing food but about caring for the land and the people who depend on it. His practices benefit his own farm and contribute to the health and well-being of his community and the environment.
Conclusion: As we continue our work of supporting small-scale farmers by linking them with startups to promote sustainable agriculture, we are inspired by farmers like Joseph, who embody the values of resilience, innovation, and community. We need to invest in building a local regenerative economy through startups and smallholder farmers to achieve sustainable self-sufficiency and self-reliance.
We call for funding to multiply the impact and scale of Motherland🌍's work towards building a more equitable and sustainable food system for all. Get in touch with us to explore the opportunities together.