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Freshmarte - fresh, nutritious, & affordable food available in your local market.

Lagos, world's fifth largest city, end's hunger & malnutrition for her 36.5 million people leveraging technology-infused urban agriculture

Photo of Job Oyebisi
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Written by

Lead Applicant Organization Name

Freshmarte Global Services LTD

Lead Applicant Organization Type

  • Small company (under 50 employees)

Website of Legally Registered Entity

https://www.freshmarte.com and https://www.farmcorps.net

How long have you / your team been working on this Vision?

  • 1-3 years

Lead Applicant: In what city or town are you located?

Lagos

Lead Applicant: In what country are you located?

Nigeria

Your Selected Place: what’s the name of the Place you’re developing a Vision for?

Lagos

What country is your selected Place located in?

Nigeria

Describe your relationship to the place you’ve selected.

I was born and bred in Lagos, my family has lived here, in different parts of the city, for more than 40 years. I have experienced the city changing landscapes, demographics, politics and socio-economics in a way that feels like we grew together. So, Lagos is not just my home, it's my origin.

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.

Lagos is the economic heartbeat and cultural melting point of Africa's most populous country, Nigeria. Every ethnic group, and even village clan in Nigeria has at least a representative living in Lagos. So the food culture here is diverse and representative of the country, mostly West-African cuisines made of grain meals with spicy vegetable soups. Rice in its varied dishes like jollof and fried rice, is the most common staple eaten in all homes. Lagos has the highest number of high end restaurants, local restaurants called "Buka", fast food chains, and road-side food vendors.

The city is largely divided into a mainland and an island, geographically but largely economically too. However, this division does not reflect in the quality of food eaten by each class except that the upper class pays more for the same kind of food eaten by the low income and poor. The rich buy their uncooked and processed food at the mall while the low-income and poor buy theirs at the open market; but the source is the same; vegetables like tomatoes come from far north and grains and tubers from the neighboring western states and middle belt. 

It's sad that Lagos doesn't grow its own food and the consequence is that food is really expensive, of low quality and largely processed. Diseases like obesity and diabetes are commonplace these days especially among the rich.

There are some bright side though. The city has one of the highest population of tech savvy, young people on the continent, who seems to be more open, adventurous and love agriculture as evident by the proliferation of platforms that crowfunds for farms. And food culture is changing towards, quick diet meals, naturals and organic.

This is where urban agriculture, culinary apps, and food tech find great opportunity to change the story of food poverty of Lagos into that of abundance and healthy diets.


What is the approximate size of your Place, in square kilometers? (New question, not required)

3577

What is the estimated population (current 2020) in your Place?

20000000

Challenges: Describe the current (2020) and the future (2050) challenges that your food system faces.

Currently Lagos doesn't grow its own food. It's food comes from overseas, far north and neighboring states of Nigeria, and are sold at wholesale in few major markets in the state thus making food really expensive in Lagos and of low quality. A popular market called Mile 12 is where 90% of tomatoes, chilli, spinach and other vegetables consumed in Lagos is sold to retailers. Hence, the city residents, both poor and rich, consumes a lot of processed food manufactured by the many food factories in the state. 

Changing demographics, decreasing standard of living and high traffic congestion makes it harder for many residents to cooked meals and has led to increase in consumption of processed foods. Consequently, the city has reported rise in cases of obesity, diabetes, and hypertension especially among the rich.

Also, there is no traceability system put in place for the city residents to find out about the source of their food; who grew or reared it and how it was grown, and other journey of the food from field to fork. So many lagosians eat their food in blind faith. There have been unresolved cases of death from poisoned food and badly sourced food.

The city however has large portions of untapped, agricultural lands in some parts of its island and mainland that can be explored for food production. But, the farmers who live in these peri-urban areas are poor; lacking access to finance for quality inputs and know-how to leverage technology and best practices that can increase yield to meet the demands of the city.

Also, most of these peri-urban parts with good land for agriculture lack basic infrasturcture such as power, good roads for transportation of food and even access to good water.


Address the Challenges: Describe how your Vision will address the challenges described in the previous question.

My vision leverages green house technology, green architecture, solar technology, cold chain storage and financial technology to enable Lagosian grow 95% of their food in their own rooftops, backyard gardens and country side farms to feed its population. So, Lagos' food will not come from far anymore but are now produced in abundance by residents. This will drastically reduce the cost of food, improve quality and thereby curb prevalent cases of hunger and malnutrition in the state.

We will connect young Lagosian who are already tech savvy to build modular, green house technology using 3D printing to manufacture essentials parts for farms which are not connected to the national grid to grow organic vegetables like tomatoes, chilli, cabbage, spinach, and other greens that Lagosian can buy at their local market. 

Instead of few major markets selling food, we will decentralize distribution and allow market food retailers and shops to order wholesale via our online ordering system that connects them to our nearest warehouse. The nearest warehouse will source its own stock from closeset producers with traceability set up for each batch of food taken from production to transportation to storage and to market.

We will partner with multinational and local food companies on making new, healthy diets from local variants by a combination of locally grown produce and their own packaged foods. This new healthy meals will be promoted online (social media platforms) and introduce to network of restaurants to make quick healthy meals that can be made from our varieties of locally grown food and packaged food thus encouraging healthy eating habits to reduce malnutrition.

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.

Lagos now grows over 90% of its own food and even exports vegetables and fruits to neighbouring states and far country. Food cost in the city is now the cheapest in Africa. Hunger and malnutrition, according to the Governor of the state, Mr Babatunde Samson, has been eliminated in the city through her agricultural revolution that is being compared to that of Netherlands. The city's landscapes and architecture both on the urban side and on the peri-urban side is lit with beautiful modular green houses that lightens up the city at night and produce fresh and organic food for the residents in the morning.

Young, tech-savvy farmers, financed by growing fintech companies are at the heart of the agricultural revolution and have earned their living growing food at their backyards and some on their large farms in Epe, Ikorodu and Mowe Ibafo.

Healthy and organic eating has become a trend among residents in the state through the introduction of quick meals developed from variants of local dishes by food companies and are sold at mall to be cooked at home or bought in a local restaurant.

Nutrition related diseases are now rare occurences unlike before and life expectancy in the state has moved from 53 years to 78 years.

The state has adopted a unified traceability system for every batch of produce grown and sold to the public for quality assurance.



Full Vision: How do you describe your Vision for a regenerative and nourishing food future for your Place and People for 2050?

My vision leverages green house technology, green architecture, solar technology, cold chain storage and financial technology to enable Lagosian grow 95% of their food in their own rooftops, backyard gardens and country side farms to feed its population. So, Lagos' food doesn't travel from far anymore but are now produced in abundance by residents. This will reduce the cost of food and drastically improve quality to curb hunger and malnurition in the state.

Lagos is already positioning itself to be Afrcia's foremost smart city and green, urban farming that would enable Lagos feed itself is a major component of its smart city initiative.

Its dynamic, young, agriculture loving population will be empowered through our modular, green house technology using 3D printing to manufacture essentials parts for farms which are not connected to the national grid to grow organic vegetables like tomatoes, chilli, cabbage, spinach, and other greens that Lagosians can buy at their local market.

Instead of few major markets selling food, we will decentralize distribution and allow market food retailers and shops to order wholesale via our online ordering system that connects them to our nearest warehouse. The nearest warehouse will source its own stock from closeset producers with traceability set up for each batch of food taken from production to transportation to storage and to market to ensure tracking of every batch of produce grown and sold to the public for quality assurance.

The farms will be financed with low-interest loan from the plethora financial institutions in the state with support from the state government through its facilities to help curb unemployment in the state.

Healthy and organic eating will be promoted via foodies blogs, social media platforms and TV programs to becomea trend among its largely young, upwardly mobile residents. 

We will also partner with multinational and local food companies, restaurants, chefs and catering houses to introduce quick healthy meals with variants of local dishes that can be bought at malls, market, restaurants or further prepared at home.

How did you hear about the Food System Vision Prize?

  • Email
  • Website
  • Prize partners
  • vc4a.com

1 comment

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Spam
Photo of Lauren Ito
Team

Hi Job Oyebisi ,

Great to see you joining the Prize!

We noticed your submission is currently unpublished. Was this your intention? We'd love to have your submission included in the Prize given the deadline is less than two days away.

You can publish it by hitting the "Publish" button at the top of your post. You can also update your Vision at any time before 31 January 2020 at 2:00 p.m. Pacific time by clicking on the "Edit Contribution" on top. If you need inspiration or guidance, take a look at the Food Vision Prize Toolkit.
Here is the link to the Prize Toolkit: http://bit.ly/2X4ZxQk