At least 10 Kenyan-based start-ups are set to benefit from funding of up to Sh6.5 million to address food losses and by-products.
This comes after the second cohort of O-Farms’ agri-circularity program was launched. O-Farms is an African SME accelerator that specializes in circular agribusiness with the objective of mainstreaming circularity for enhanced rural livelihoods and sustainability.
Agri-circularity fosters innovation by building new business models that minimize agricultural losses, resulting in the creation of new employment possibilities and a more sustainable food system.
The programme, funded by IKEA Foundation seeks to scale circular agribusiness innovations in East Africa.
In Kenya, the initiative is spearheaded by E4Impact Accelerator, an organisation supporting the growth of new businesses in Kenya. So far the programme has supported 11 SMEs.
E4Impact Entrepreneurship Centers Director, David Cheboryot, said the initiative targets SMEs with solutions to strengthen their business models to thrive.
“Kenya has the potential to sustainably feed its growing population without depleting its natural resources. Our focus is to build innovation support infrastructure that enables circular agribusiness to grow and develop,” he said.
Cheboryot expressed confidence that as the O-Farm Accelerator Program enters its second edition, Kenya will solidify its position as an agricultural hub.
“We are looking forward to receiving the second cohort of agri-circularity SMEs as we strive towards cementing Kenya as an agricultural hub in Africa,” he added.
O-Farms was launched in 2021 as Africa’s first accelerator program focusing on agri-circularity with the goal of making circularity a mainstream approach for improved rural livelihoods and sustainability.
Beneficiaries include Yummy Pot Limited which sells instant mashed potato flour and raw potato flour to households and businesses and Janabichi Agri Solutions, a firm that converts rejected tomatoes and capsicum to various sauces are some of the organisations that have benefited from the programme.
Others include Sbike Limited which 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 processes avocado oil using a zero-waste circular process and goes on to process the avocado waste to make briquettes and nutrients for black soldier fly farming.
Soil Doctors, Organic Fields, Stawi Seeds Ltd, Korogocho Market Traders Association (KMTA), as well as Vermitech Consultants Ltd-manufactures, also benefited.