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How might we improve budgeting and planning process for small scale farmers to ensure better storage practices

Use simple tools to estimate production and allocate a fraction of the capital to storage to ensure best storage practices are adopted.

Photo of Hifadhi Calm
27 11

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Our idea is to come up with a phone application usable by both smart and ordinary phones because phone usage is quite large in Kenya and every farmer owns a phone. The app will help farmers plan and budget better through the use of a simple calculator that will guide them in apportioning their capital such that storage has a cost allocation from the onset rather than rely on remnant funds after harvest. It will also have a track sheet that will forecast their demand using past inputs, and quantity of harvests so they can realize the trend and better predict harvest such that they can prepare adequate storage facilities and options. Every farmer has some capital, only most of it is investetd in pre harvest period .Through this we plan to ensure every output yields returns. This helps in planning through forecasting, so that there are no surprises and also in budgeting such that for every capital handled a significant portion is allocated to storage as this is vital.


The beneficiaries for this application are small scale farmers in Kitale and Kinangop who's land is very productive however their returns neither match their investment nor reflect their productivity due to storage challenges. Through this application we aim to improve their storage practices and ultimately maximize their returns.


Our idea will be implemented in Kitale and Kinangop areas, maize in Kitale is often lost during storage by aflotoxin while potatoes in Kinangop are wasted due to bumper harvetst and inadequate storage facilities. Both are hubs for Kenya's staple food


  • Yes


  • I’ve worked in a sector related to my idea for over a year


  • Yes, for more than one year.


We are part of a group comprising VACID, Ycenter and DOT Kenya working to bring innovation to agriculture through youth participation in Kenya through the Impactathon School of Agriculture. We are based in Kenya our operations are nationwide. nationwide


This is a new idea for our organization. The Idea came up as we interacted with the farmers from Kitale and Kinangop who loose most of their maize and potatoes in the above areas respectively every harvesting period due to improper or lack of storage. The difference is we offer life skills, ICT, entrepreneurship and financial literacy skills training while this idea offers a product to the farmers.


A farmer being able to access not only a budgeting too and a tracking tool but also to be able to get a near pin point projection of expected harvest and the storage needed. The package will consist of an account for every farmer where each farmers profile on the type of farming done, size of land and access to subsidized inputs among others will be offered. This will also offer a platform for production performance across time all other factors constant. This idea will transform to offering all farming types done in Kenya or as demand will dictate


A team of four will initially take charge in ensuring the idea is actualized. However it is important to not that the idea will be supported by consultants in the field of econometrics in fine tuning the projection calculator and an ICT expert too.

Did you know that in Kenya, small scale farmers make up about 75% of employment and 75% of agricultural production? While the region as a whole has been experiencing economic growth, there has been limited progress in agriculture, due to food spoilage and wastage as a result of inadequate storage facilities.

Research shows that farmers lose between 30 to 40 per cent of the food produced and the country is far from attaining food security. Effective budgeting and planning  pre and post - harvest period, is the key in reaching the desired storage practices.  

Hifadhi app-team aims to create a farmer-friendly phone application that aims at advancing ready information to farmers on storage options that are pocket friendly and help in reducing wastage. 


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Photo of William Lanier

To help the shortlisted ideas become the best that they can be…
we agree that "a simple phone application calculator that will guide growers apportioning their capital such that storage has a cost allocation from the onset rather than rely on remnant funds and better predict harvest such that they can prepare adequate storage facilities and options" is defiantly needed.

However, at farm level, especially in the field, many factors that influence the contamination of grain are environmentally related, such as weather and insects, and are difficult or impossible to control (CAC/RCP, 2003). In other words it is easy to calculate the average local harvest, but average harvest amounts are rare as demand, weather and crop pests change and so stationary storage is idle or overflowing. AND it is risky for tenure insecure growers to invest and maintain stationary storage at the required scale and proximity (Perez, 2014) as SSA growers do not own the land they harvest or have rights to tailor a warehouse to their needs.
What are the proposed technologies to predict harvest and what kind of storage will be used to base the calculations for low cost allocation to for example reverse PHL like aflatoxin?
- Bio-control products must overcome the tendency of fungi to exchange DNA before they are an effective means to reduce aflatoxins
- Sun and heat will stop fungi, but the colorless aflatoxin that remains is extremely difficult to manually sort from surplus grain  
- Depending on the crop, when low levels of fungi or insects enter typical sack jute or plastic sack warehouses, higher levels of aflatoxin may result (IARC, 2015)  
- Periodic sack rotations are invasive and a labor intensive method of monitoring grain quality.  
This OpenIDEO is excellent as it addresses storage capital costs. However the critical technical aspects that address for example PHL like aflatoxin levels in surplus grain are missing.
Jobs for Youth to Reverse PHL
NeverIdle mobile utility storage 

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