CREATING SUSTAINABLE ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL SECURITY THROUGH TECHNOLOGY DRIVEN CATFISH FARMING COOPERATIVE.
KRUNCHY Farms is a technology driven catfish farming business built around a cooperative to ensure sustainable food and economic security.
Lead Applicant Organization Name
Lead Applicant Organization Type
Farmer Co-op or Farmer Business Organization
If part of a multi-stakeholder entity (i.e. team), provide the names of other organizations and types of stakeholders collaborating with you.
Gabrovic Nigeria Limited (Importer of ZIEGLER FISH FEEDS, OVAPRIM, ARTEMIA AND AQUA EQUIPMENTS)
How long have you / your team been working on this Vision?
Lead Applicant: In what city or town are you located?
Rukpokwu town, Portharcourt, Rivers State.
Lead Applicant: In what country are you located?
Your Selected Place: what’s the name of the Place you’re developing a Vision for?
Our farming takes place on our fish farm located in Rivers State.Targeted market are areas of Rivers and Lagos States both at 14,422 km^2.
What country is your selected Place located in?
Describe your relationship to the place you’ve selected.
I was born and I had my most memorable childhood experiences in Portharcourt Rivers State, completing my primary and secondary education here. Part of my family lives here, not forgetting my friends as well. Although I had had to travel to other parts of the country for education, or volunteering purposes, I always comeback home because my heart lives here and I feel connected to this place in ways words can't express or describe.
Describe the People and Place: Provide information that would be helpful for an outsider who has never been there and may have no context about this Place to better understand the area.
Rivers State, simply known as Rivers, is one of the 36 states of Nigeria. It is the sixth most populous state according to census data released in 2006, the state has a population of 5,198,716. Its capital and largest city, Port Harcourt, is economically significant as the centre of Nigeria's oil industry.
The inland part of the state consists of tropical rainforest; towards the coast, the typical Niger Delta environment features many mangrove swamps.
Rainfall is generally seasonal, variable, as well as heavy, and occurs between the months of March and October through November. The wet season peaks in July, lasting more than 290 days. The only dry months are January and February having little to no effect.
As a multicultural, multitribal region, Rivers State has much to offer in its diversity of people. Today, over 26 distinct groups are recognized by the Rivers State government, each with its own language, lifestyle, and cultural heritage.
Rivers State has maintained its importance as a leading supplier of wealth to the nation for centuries. In 2007, the state ranked 2nd nationwide with a gross domestic product(GDP) of $21.07 billion and a per capital income of $3,965.
Prior to the discovery of oil in commercial quantity in 1951, Agriculture was the primary occupation of the people of Rivers State. Around the 19th century when the industrial revolution reached its peak in England, the area was then referred to as Oil Rivers Protectorate, this was due to its abundant palm oil and kernel which basically constituted the main revenue source of the country. In a sample survey carried out by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources, about 40% of the rural inhabitants were committed to farming in 1983.
The fishing industry is an important sector in Rivers State. Besides being lucrative, fishing is also a favourite past time activity. There are approximately 270 species of fish existing; with many artisanal fishermen in the riverine areas. The state provides valuable seafood such as crabs, oysters, shrimps and sea snails among others.
What is the estimated population (current 2020) in your Place?
Challenges: Describe the current (2020) and the future (2050) challenges that your food system faces.
Rivers people used to be so much into agricultural practice which has heavily contributed to national food security.
Presently we have the challenge of environmental pollution due to oil spillage caused by oil exploration and it's effects on the farming lands, and water bodies. These social and food insecurities created by crude oil exploration, has lead many of our youths into social vices such as piracy, oil bunkering, kidnapping, because of perceived lack of inclusiveness in government and social programmes to benefit them and those of their communities, this continued struggle has affected and threatened the economic and food security of the Rivers people and those of the Niger Delta regions. These activities are threatening food security as more youths are seeking greener pasture in the oil industry, leaving predominantly older women and vulnerable children to farming activities. The agricultural industry is becoming less develop with little to no support from the government, lack of technology to drive farming activities for better results and sustainable farm practices that are inclusive and creates synergy between farmers, retailers, and final consumers. There is not enough manpower to drive the agricultural industry, farmers have difficulties accessing markets, retailers go through lot of stress and financial investment to get catfish and other farm produce and this in turn leads to higher cost of purchasing catfish and farm produce by the final consumers.
The future challenges are inability for those left in the agricultural sphere to meet the demand and supply for agricultural products. Lack of competent, well trained, and well skilled farmers in the industry who are technology savvy.
Address the Challenges: Describe how your Vision will address the challenges described in the previous question.
KRUNCHY Farms is a technology driven catfish farming business cooperative. We recruit and train youth farmers who form part of our "KRUNCHY Farmers" cooperative on best agricultural practices and how they can leverage the use of technology to increase yield and have easy access to market.
On the other end are Women who form part of the cooperative identified as "KRUNCHY retailers", who are empowered with branded retail outlet at different strategic locations around the state who sell our farm produce.
These are connected to farmers by our mobile app "KRUNCHY store" where they, having first hand interaction with customers can order for specific number of farm products, this will reduce post harvest spoilage and loss, provide feedback on customers reviews and complaints on products quality and packaging.
When orders are placed, we have our "KRUNCHY drivers" who load vehicles with daily ordered products and make deliveries to the retailers.
Our MVP are healthy hatched fries and both "fresh" and industrially smoked "dried catfish" that are hygienically packaged with our branded materials showing nutritional information, weight of product, and batch number.
This will be the benchmark for other local farmers whose farm produce will be sold through market channels.
This means that our products will be positioned to attract the patronage of the high and middle class who have better buying power to purchase our farm produce. Generate trust and foster business relationship with other industries like restaurants, fast-food, hotels, supermarkets.
This way we make the farming industry attractive to young and vibrant farmers, create economic and social security through our business activities.
This model will be expanded to include other farmers such as egg producers, chicken producers, beef producers, palm oil manufacturers, and other viable agricultural products with a large demand across different industry.
Our competitive advantages are not limited to the following:
1. Since we have created an ecosystem that includes producers, retailers, and consumers we can afford to set prices comparatively lower than competitors.
2. The incorporation of technology into our farming practices and delivery channels, also means that we have better products from the farm that gets to the final consumers at a relatively cheaper prices.
3. The social impact of our business model on the community can't be overemphasized, which means that we can easily attract funding and support from private and governmental organization compared to individual farmers and other cooperatives.
4. We also plan on partnering with other institutions who will give out soft loans to members of our cooperative community, to help foster better business relationships.
High Level Vision: With these challenges addressed, now provide a high level description of how the Place and the lives of its People will be different than they are now.
Our innovative business model will transform the economic and social security of the State.
More and more youths will be gainfully employed as "KRUNCHY Farmers", having being trained on latest farming practices and technology to increase yield. This means they will be proud as farmers who are technology savvy and become part of a knowledge sharing cooperative just compared to be when they were independent and isolated local farmers. More youths will therefore be willing to embrace farming compared to the environmental and life threatening activities of oil bunkering, kidnapping, and other social vices. Also, they will earn more money as they now have easier access to markets they never did before.
Our "KRUNCHY retailers" will be made up of women who now will have a means of livelihood and also earn more money than they did before on selling agricultural produces, and they can support their family, and send their children to better schools.
More so, other individuals will be gainfully employed as technicians, drivers, working on this project.
Full Vision: How do you describe your Vision for a regenerative and nourishing food future for your Place and People for 2050?
Recreate and scale our business model to cover the entire Nigeria, and neighboring West African countries.
Our vision is to shift the economic dependency on oil to agriculture in line with the policy of the Nigerian government.
Make agriculture more sustainable in Africa incooperating the latest practices and technology.
Making the agricultural industry more attractive for youths who can be proud farmers.
Providing employment opportunities for vulnerable members of the community which are single, widowed and older women who have no means of livelihood to support themselves, children, and families.
How are we going to scale to other African countries?. This will be achieved through partnership with existing individuals, institutions, and organizations that share the same vision and mission with us.
We have business partners who are alumni of agricultural and other training institutions across Africa, like in Kenya, South Africa, and Benin Republic. We can leaverage on this existing relationship to replicate and repeat our business models in this Africa countries.
We theorized that we can place adverts on social media and write to institutions in other African countries who can help provide ground work for us to scale into such countries. The world is a global village and has never been this connected in ideas and visions.
How did you hear about the Food System Vision Prize?