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COMMERCIAL FOOD BANK FOR CEREALS

To run an efficient food intermediary for food crops between buyers and sellers.

Photo of Beatrice  Ndungu
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Lead Applicant Organization Name

Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology

Lead Applicant Organization Type

  • Researcher Institution

If part of a multi-stakeholder entity (i.e. team), provide the names of other organizations and types of stakeholders collaborating with you.

Kings Agricultural Services LTD- VALUE CHAIN DEVELOPMENT AND AGRIBUSINESS CONSULTING. Brightpath Consulting LTD- Business Development Consulting.

Website of Legally Registered Entity

www.jkuat.ac.ke

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

  • Just beginning now

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

Nairobi

Lead Applicant: In what country are you located?

Kenya

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

Central Kenya

What country is your selected Place located in?

Kenya

Describe your relationship to the place you’ve selected.

At least 80% of farmers are small scale with majority holding between 0.5 and 2 hectares of land. They have a significant contribution to food security but majority choose to engage in commercial enterprises besides farming. 


I am well familiar with the region having been born, worked and lived in at least three of its counties Therefore a region dear to me and hope to make a lasting impact to the people.

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.

Central Kenya is a home to the Agikuyu community of Bantu descent. Populated in both rural and urban region. A majority of its working class citizens working between the region and neighboring Nairobi City. The younger genration too moving to the city where majority of institutions of higher learning are situated.

Central region covers Nyandarua; Nyeri; Kirinyaga; Murang'a; and Kiambu counties. With an altitude ranging from 1,500 to 2,000 meters above sea level. Rainfall is bi modal and averages from 1,300 to 1,800 millimeters per year. Most farmers grow an average of 4-6 crops in their farms thus have to source other food items in the markets. Basic food item include traditional maize meal, as 'Githeri' or in its ground form 'Ugali'

There are two cropping seasons,with the long rain season starting from mid-March through July and the short rain season from mid-October through December. Maize can thus be cropped continually in the region. other cereals food crops have shorter 

The rural poverty rates range between 30 and 40 percent of the population hence the need to change the current food systems by encouraging more agricultural practices. growth of secondary cities has seen the region retain majority of its middle income earners. Whereas the land is arable, other commercial activities such as poultry farming have superseded commercial food crop farming. Potato farming has persistently managed to shield off the statistics and is still a dominant crop. Proteins available are mostly beans, poultry been and recently growing pork products.  Dietary concerns in the region are due to unhealthy starch consumption as its the main crops, especially potatoes, wheat and maize. The resulting is cases of obesity and other health concerns such as diabetes. 

A hope for the future is a reduction in post harvest losses hence increased income per household to diversify their range of consumption. 

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

11449

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

5700000

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

Current Challenges

The vision hopes to address the following issues.

  • Environment- Traditional farming practices are not capable of meeting Kenya’s maize production requirements without compromising the land’s productive sustainability. In the bulk of maize growing areas of Kenya, the yield of maize without fertilizers or manure ranges between 1.1 and 2.5 tha-1. The levels of maize production results from intricate interactions among the availability of water and nutrients, competition of weeds, occurrence of pests and diseases and the actual management practices.
  • Diet- the dietary and Nutritional aspects have a linear relationships with income for households. Malnutrition continues to be one of the major concerns in Kenya. Stunting (chronic malnutrition), wasting (acute malnutrition) and underweight remain public health problems, with high levels of micro nutrient deficiencies also evident. 
  • Technology- Traditional farming systems see farmers lack access to basic information concerning production, production techniques or access to markets. Without resources, or access to technology, consumers are not aware of the nutritional benefits of various food items. Lack of technology sees brokers who have access to international markets profit more from food systems as opposed to the farmers. 
  • Policy. the current trend in food systems is food trace-ability. The system will ensure accuracy in food trace-ability; which has been of great concern in the modern day. implementation of pricing policies is difficult for government as records of farmers and their output is unavailable. 
  • Economics- current challenges include lack of selling power thus inability to negotiate for right prices. Post harvest losses contribute to the challenge of existing farmers to view agriculture as a financially viable venture, 
  • Culture- Majority of farmers practice farming for subsistence, the resources and motivation to engage in commercialized agriculture is lacking for most households. crop rotation would also be encouraged. 


Future Challenges. 

Access to finance

According to the Kenya Agricultural Research Institutions, The formulation of a strategy to pursue sustainable maize production in Kenya is indispensable mainly because of the scarcity of good agricultural land and rapid population growth. Unfortunately, the majority of farmers are not able to provide adequate inputs in order to increase the current yields and to sustain higher yields. This vision hopes to address the challenge. 

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

Technology- An open intermediary system is created linking producers (sellers) to consumers(buyers) who are either local or international markets, this will greatly reduce cost for an average farmer to market their products or even link up with the market.

The bank facilitates will use modern technology for issues such as storage temperature regulation or physical security of produce. 

use of technology will also enhance farmers to make marketing prospects influencing the decisions they make on production. 

Policies concerning Food Safety  and Trace-ability as per international standards will be enhanced, The food banks will be ensuring compliance with the food safety regulations ensuring clean food free of contamination or toxins.

Pricing polices could also be regulated by relevant authorities. through the vision, government would also transfer funds to its grassroots for support. 

Economics.

a) Selling power of farmers will also increase as they will not have to dispose off produce due to limited storage facilities. 

b) Economies of Scale - This will be ensured for both the buyers and sellers by significantly reducing sourcing and marketing costs. A food bank will receive and store produce from many small scale farmers and their contribution befitting what a few large scale farmers would produce.

Culture- the proposed food bank would encourage a culture of commercialization to help farmers engage in more income generating activities. over reliance on maize as a source of food would cease. 

Access to finance -A successful system will see majority of people engaging in agricultural activities. Financing will be required to boost the ability of an low income individual to engage or scale up operations. 

the system would provide a digital record upon which financiers will use the data to determine the levels of financial provisions to grant farmers 

the food bank would also provide a fund to both buyers and sellers to meet their various needs. 

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.

With a fully operational food bank in the region, a significant growth in number of farmers is observed. the conversation slowly sated moving from employment to crop diversion strategies. The youth and women have a reason to invest in agriculture. the government is constantly providing training to adopt the best practice for both production and processing of the final products. 

Investments start moving from financial to agricultural oriented enterprises. due to increased farming, agribusiness enterprises on value creation will grow and create formal employment in the region. 

A growing economy does not fail to attract government investment, Infrastructure quickly grows from traditional to modern day and technology enabled 

Information sharing is quickly transforming the farmers decision making and hence transforming the whole system at large. In general; there is a significant  contribution to well being, financial being and social levels of stakeholders. 

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

The future of the food bank vision by 2050 will see the banks operating at an advanced level. Having addressed issues of delivery both to and from the food bank. The problems of the third world will be a problem of the past- with working systems for the fresh and perishable goods too. With smart technologies, logistical challenges will  be overcome. 

The proposed system hopes to address various sectors of the food system at different stages and eventually the system as a whole. Food production is likely to grow rapidly after elimination of the major challenges such as transport, marketing and financing. 

The food banks will partner with food processing, export companies policy makers and other key stakeholders to ensure an all round working system. 

Growth in number and efficiency of the food banks will be notable and significant. 

Consumers whether large scale or small scale, local or global will be able to interact with the system and possibly allow for correspondence between on food bank with another. Just like any commercial bank, the system hopes to adopt technologies of online banking, social banking, cross banking and international banking. Further technologies for more perishable food items will be designed to enhance a fully inclusive food bank to avoid disadvantaging various producers as mixed farming must be encouraged. Since the land ownership system already provides a platform for societal inclusiveness , other aspects of the food systems such as processing financing and logistics will also the platform provides a fair and just system to all. 

How did you hear about the Food System Vision Prize?

  • Email
  • Conference/event

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