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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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EXPLAIN YOUR IDEA

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.

WHO BENEFITS?

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.

WHERE WILL YOUR IDEA BE IMPLEMENTED?

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

ARE YOU IMPLEMENTING IN AN ELIGIBLE COUNTRY?

  • Yes

EXPERTISE IN SECTOR

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

EXPERIENCE IN IMPLEMENTATION COUNTRY(IES)

  • Yes, for more than one year.

TELL US MORE ABOUT YOU!

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

IS THIS IDEA NEW FOR YOU OR YOUR ORGANIZATION?

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.

HOW IS YOUR IDEA UNIQUE?

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

WHO WILL IMPLEMENT THIS IDEA?

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. 




27 comments

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Photo of William Lanier
Team

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.
William
Jobs for Youth to Reverse PHL
NeverIdle mobile utility storage 

Photo of Hifadhi Calm
Team

Agriculture and Food Processing

Agriculture is the mainstay of the economy in Kenya, providing livelihood to approximately 75 per cent of the population. There is considerable scope for diversification and expansion of the agricultural sector through accelerated food crop production, processing and marketing.

There are also opportunities for improvement in technological infrastructure such as packaging, storage, and transportation. Intensified irrigation and additional value added processing are areas for investments.
http://www.africa-do-business.com/kenya.html

Photo of Hifadhi Calm
Team

The extent of produce loss can be better illustrated by a study done in Cheptais Western Kenya by Asian Journal of Agricultural Extension,
Economics & Sociology
5(2): 98-107, 2015; Article no.AJAEES.2015.043 which indicates as high as a total of 53.1% of the maize was damage by
weevils due to poor storage facilities, while 30.3%
of maize stored was damaged by rodents, a
further total of 8.0% of the maize was lost through
theft and 8.6% by aflatoxins. Maize
storage is important because it bridges the gap
between surplus at harvest time and scarcity
during the post-harvest period. However maize
producer in Cheptais Sub-County is facing a
number of constraints especially in poorly stored
grains.

For more on the study follow the link: sciencedomain.org/download/ODAzMkBAcGY

In addition, International Journal of Advanced Research (2014), Volume 2, Issue 7, 945-950. CHALLENGES FACED IN THE MANAGEMENT OF SMALL SCALE FARM
ENTERPRISES IN TRANS-NZOIA COUNTY, KENYA Link: www.journalijar.com/uploads/432_IJAR-3754.pdf indicates 15% of the respondents sited storage as a challange farmers face in Trans Nzoia County where Kitale is located

Photo of William Lanier
Team

Hello Hifadahi,
We agree that allocating a fraction of the capital to storage will ensure best storage. 
Because plastic bags do not stop chewing rats or insects that bore in or “perforations” (George, 2011) caused by handling and soon it needs recycling.
And Artisan constructed airtight metal cans are fragile and difficult to transport to reduce pests at harvest or scale for net benefit at markets.
Any airtight storage system needs well maintained GDLI too stop the condensation (caused by day and night temperatures) that let low levels of fungi and insects to produce more aflatoxin,

This means breathing storage is practical mitigation for the condensation that lets fungi and insects cause aflatoxin. High utility metal roofs, walls and cone shaped floors that are raised above rats and ground water for long and large storage and so gravity eases processing and cleaning at markets. Combining breathability, utility and integral wheels means utility storage that is mobile only when empty “parks cost-effectively so trucks, trailers and wagons [transport] can go to haul heavy loads” (Bessonova, 2015). Cost-effective leases let mobile utility scale at many small or one large harvest location. Stored in Mobile utility GDLI, grain is easier to handle, monitor, fumigate when needed, process and market for net benefit.



The team at
<https://challenges.openideo.com/challenge/agricultural-innovation/ideas/storage-to-reverse-grain-postharvest-loss> would like to hear your comments about how mobile utility would help Kitale and Kinangop growers ensure better practices and meet their storage challenges.


William

Photo of Hifadhi Calm
Team

Hallo William Lanier,

We agree that mobility in the  is definitely an important issue to address in Kitale as most farmers do not have access to proper storage as you are offering.

For a farmer to not loose her produce, access to proper storage is vital. As much as the farmers have some sort of storage facilities, these facilities are either of less capacity or poor exposing the produce to potential spoilage.

At Hifadhi Calm, we appreciate that there are various storage designs and technologies that are available in the market and consider lack of planning and budgeting as far more pressing issue. Consider if all farmers would include storage cost in their planning, this will enable then access the best storage resources available in their community. They will also pool resources to have your mobile utility as a cooperative for example.

More importantly, the farmer is able to project what capacity is needed for handling the produce expected in every season. This will give the farmer the ability to get better prices as the produce can be sold at a higher price at a later date when the market forces offer that.

Photo of Michael Tanui
Team

Hi Hifadhi,

Looking at the loss of Maize harvests to pests and diseases, I think a planning tool is important for me as a farmer to not only prepare for my storage but also plan on what options are available to me in my community.

Photo of Chioma Ume
Team

Hi Hifadhi! 

I notice you haven't filled in the answers to the new questions for the phase - just a friendly reminder to make sure you do so before next week!

Thanks!
Chioma

Photo of Lucy
Team

Dear Hifadhi,
This is a wonderful idea, I hope it will help in solving food spoilage, one of the great challenges the nation at large is facing.
Good work!

Photo of Ashley King-Bischof
Team

Hi Hifadhi, 

Farmer education on whether or not they are profiting is so critical! Simple math adds up. There are some other free accounting SMS services starting to pilot across EA. I would love to share what I've heard. 

We at Markit Opportunity - Mobile Auction for Smallholder Farming Trading  are expanding to Kitale for the next harvesting season  - both for onions and potentially potatoes. Are you based there? Can we meet up talk or meet soon? Please send me a mail or provide your contact and I will give you a call. 

Cheers!

Photo of Ann Nderitu
Team

Ashley, this looks like a great idea for the farmers. What's the farmers' response to the service?

Photo of Hifadhi Calm
Team

Hi Ashley, you too have a great idea at Markit Opportunity. We are based in the Capital city of Kenya - Nairobi and quite interested in working with farmers across the country but specifically in Kitale and Kinangop where plenty of cereals are harvested every year.

You can reach us through hifadhicalm@gmail.com for further conversations.

Photo of Ashley King-Bischof
Team

Hi Ann. Thank you. Farmers are happy with our offline trading standardize. We have seen repeat users and recommendations. That said, our challenge in this stage is to make our communication with our users easier for them. We will see what the best way to do that is after we conduct beneficiary interviews. 

Photo of Ashley King-Bischof
Team

Hi Hifadhi. We are based in Kenya. My understanding was that you were working with potato farmers in Kitale. I was hoping we could share our platform with them. Let me send you an email so we can see what is possible. 

Photo of Judy Muriuki
Team

Great idea Hifadhi. To upscale the project you could possibly look to solve another challenge faced by farmers in Kenya which is identifying alternative storage facilities which currently are either expensive or are located far from their farmland. Hifadhi could provide information/training on how these farmers could come together and build a community storage which would be cheaper and more accessible to them.

Photo of Hifadhi Calm
Team

Thank you Judy. The Hifadhi app, besides being a budgetary tool, it will aim at addressing other storage related problems affecting farmers.

Photo of Beryl Olewe
Team

Fantastic idea creating an app that will help farmers with budgeting.

Photo of Hifadhi Calm
Team

Thank you Beryl

Photo of Victor Kimanthi
Team

Well done Hifadhi! 
I echo the idea of using the app but also consider coming up with communal storage structures for the farmers.
Looking forward to the app!

Photo of Hifadhi Calm
Team

Thank you Victor. As Hifadhi, we aim at launching the app first then move into mobilizing for communal storage structures as time goes by.

Photo of Vegetable Resource Centre
Team

Hi Hifadhi. How can we link our pre-planting idea with your storage idea, as storage is required to be considered at the pre-planting stage? You can see our idea at Resource centre for small holder vegetable farmers https://challenges.openideo.com/challenge/agricultural-innovation/ideas/resource-centre-for-small-holder-vegetable-farmers/comments#c-7e742a0eca08b5a24df48f1c97b0d5e6

Photo of Dorah Nesoba
Team

This is an awesome idea. Farmers lack tools to estimate inputs e.g. seeds and fertilizers and the eventual produce. This leads to inadequate planning for storage facilities and the outcome is disastrous to farmers.

Photo of Hifadhi Calm
Team

Thank you Dorah

Photo of Dorah Nesoba
Team

As a maize farmer, this idea generated by Hifadhi Calm will go a long way in ensuring that we farmers do not lose any of our produce. Keep up.

Photo of Dorah Nesoba
Team

Brilliant idea

Photo of Ann Nderitu
Team

This is indeed a great idea. Giving small scale farmers storage options that will ensure a longer life span of their harvest. In current times, many farmers dispose off their produce at throw away prices immediately after harvest due to lack of proper storage facilities.

Keep it up.

Photo of Vegetable Resource Centre
Team

This is a great idea as storage is seen as a priority only for the rich farmers which shouldn't be the case. You can also check out our idea at https://challenges.openideo.com/challenge/agricultural-innovation/ideas/resource-centre-for-small-holder-vegetable-farmers

Photo of OpenIDEO
Team

Hi Hifadhi, interesting post! Any chance you could find an image to go along with it? Images help grab attention and tell a story with higher impact. You should be able to use the Edit Contribution button on the top of your post and follow the instructions to add images from there. Looking forward to seeing more of your inspiring insights on OpenIDEO.