Ten Kenyan Agri-circularity startups have been selected for the second edition of the O-Farms accelerator program, which will award two peer-selected companies with milestone-based grant funding of up to EUR25,000 (US$24,000).
O-Farms was launched in 2021 as Africa’s first accelerator program focusing on Agri-circularity, with the objective of making circularity a prevailing approach for improved rural livelihoods and sustainability. Led by Bopinc and Village Capital, and implemented by E4Impact Accelerator
So far the programme has supported 11 SMEs, and it is now back for a second edition. This year it will support the 10 selected Kenyan-based agri-circularity startups in addressing food losses and by-products, with selected startups benefitting from a tailored circularity curriculum which will help them define their circular solutions, strengthen their business models and access grant funding of up to EUR25,000.
The selected startups represent vital sub-segments of the Agri-circularity sector, which include human food, animal feeds, fertilizer/compost, biodegradable packaging and biofuels.
They include Yummy Pot Ltd which sells instant mashed potato flour and raw potato flour to households and businesses, Janabichi Agri Solutions converts rejected tomatoes and capsicum to various sauces, Sbike Ltd uses market organic waste and supplements it with by-products from the sugar production process, such as pulp and molasses to produce ethanol and Agribusiness Solutions which process avocado oil using a zero-waste circular process and go on to process the avocado waste to make briquettes and nutrients for black soldier fly farming.
Others are Soil Doctors who make low-cost, biodegradable carbon-sink bag sheaths, which cover trees and enable their independent growth without irrigation, the Organic Fields convert market food waste into organic fertilizer for use in crop production, and the Stawi Seeds Ltd use spoiled papaya fruits to make organic fertilizers.
Also on the list is EcoRich Solutions make affordable carbon-friendly organic fertilizers from household waste, 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 make organic compost from market organic waste and the Vermitech Consultants Ltd manufactures Boom Max organic foliar, an organic water-based fertilizer that is made by recycling market waste, this involves blending vermicomposting tea and an organic biostimulant.
Agri-circularity creates a more sustainable food system that drives innovation through developing innovative business models that reduce agricultural losses, thereby creating new economic opportunities and jobs in the region.
In this regard, Kenya is able to sustainably feed its growing population, without depleting its natural resources.
“As E4Impact our aim is to support SMEs to refine their innovations, strengthen their business models, access financing opportunities and create a founding community advocating for better adoption of a circular economy and supportive policies & legislation.
We are looking forward to receiving the 2nd cohort of agri-circularity SMEs as we strive towards cementing Kenya as an agricultural hub in Africa,” said David Cheboryot, Director of the E4Impact Entrepreneurship Centers.
Article Source: Disrupt Africa (disrupt-africa.com)