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The SUANAE project

I see a world where food is redistributed from places/areas with a surplus to places/areas/people in need thereby reducing local food waste

Photo of michael akande
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Lead Applicant Organization Name

Semicolon Africa (Techpreneurship Training Centre)

Lead Applicant Organization Type

  • Other

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

The Founders Institute (Startup Accelerator)

Website of Legally Registered Entity

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

  • 1-3 years

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


Lead Applicant: In what country are you located?


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

Kaduna State

What country is your selected Place located in?


Describe your relationship to the place you’ve selected.

I was born in Zaria, a local government area in Kaduna State. I have lived in Kaduna city, the capital of Kaduna State intermittently from 1991 to date. I schooled in 2 different secondary schools in Kaduna city, namely the Airforce Secondary School and Essence International School between 1994 and 1996. Kaduna is my home and where I have lived and spent most of my life so far. 

I completed my mandatory national service at the marketing department of the Nigerian Television Authority, NTA in Kaduna City from October 2015 to October 2016 in fulfillment of the National Youth Service Corps, N.Y.S.C curriculum. I then went on to work as a marketing executive at Invicta 98.9 FM Kaduna, which was a newly established radio station at the time, from January 2017 to May 2018. 

I have a considerably large amount of friends, colleagues, school mates, and acquaintances who live and work in Kaduna to this day. 

I have an affection, loyalty, and attachment to the city of Kaduna and I envision establishing an innovative food system in Kaduna State that the rest of Nigeria, Africa, and the world at large can emulate and benefit from.

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.

The name Kaduna is coined from the Hausa word ‘Kada’ which means crocodile. River Kaduna is a tributary of River Niger and it was home to many crocodiles hence the name Kaduna which is plural for the word Kada and means 'lots of crocodiles'. Kaduna State has 23 Local governments and over 55 different ethnic groups and tribes, with most of them having their own dialect.

Kaduna is known for its pottery, it is home to NOK culture and NOK architecture. It has many historic buildings and relics including the Emir’s palace in Zaria and Lord Lugard Hall. The city of Zaria, or Zazzau as it is called in Hausa was the home of Queen Amina.

Despite the re-occurrence of various incidences of violence and unrest over the past 20 years, the people of Kaduna State remain resilient in their quest for survival and their pursuit of prosperity. Agriculture is the highest employer of labor in Kaduna State and close to 1.5 million people participate in various forms of farming and many different agricultural practices. 

Kaduna State is known historically to be an industrious, cosmopolitan and politically important state with the presence of many different companies and manufacturing plants across several industries including textiles, food and beverages, pottery and automobile. The state has a refinery, an airport, a newly established dry goods port and it boasts the most tertiary institutions in Nigeria including the Nigerian Defence Academy and the famous Ahmadu Bello University in Zaria.

Kaduna State is very diverse in terms of the cultures, traditions, and motivations of the population of people that reside in and frequently visit the city. It is approximately 200 kilometers from the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja and so it shares similar weather, climate, and topography which is primarily savannah with lots of shrubs, trees, and grass. Kaduna state is located in the north-central part of Nigeria and serves as a central hub to all other northern states, essentially linking them to the rest of Nigeria via major federal road networks that run through Abuja to Kogi State on once axis with linking roads to Kano, Plateau and Niger State's respectively.

The people of Kaduna are naturally very innovative, entrepreneurial and resilient and this can be seen through the development of farming tools, home appliances and working utensils across several industries and sectors.

The slogan 'Let's make Kaduna great again' was adopted by the current state government since 2015.

Some resources and references

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


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.

Environmental Challenges - Kaduna state is subject to a high volume of rainfall during the summer months from June to August. This leads to flooding in certain areas and erosion where the topography is vulnerable. Farmers tend to lose a lot of their crops around this time and this has a detrimental effect on the quantity and quality of their harvest. It also causes scarcity of certain crops which leads to a hike in the prices of available farm produce.

Nutritional & Dietary Challenges - As a result of cultural and traditional heritage, the average family in Kaduna is usually between 4 - 6 people, and the average income of these families is not sufficient to sustain a balanced diet. The average family stocks up on basic necessities when their income allows and they are left vulnerable if there is a sudden change in the availability or affordability of basic foods like rice, beans, cassava flour, maize, tomatoes, millet, and other foods. The less privileged rely on discounted foods sold at market vendors and food stores. They also wait for almost expired or already expired foods that are given away by supermarkets and shop retailers.

Economical Challenges - The National minimum wage in Nigeria was recently increased to N30,000.00 Naira monthly (About $84.00) for civil servants and government workers. This new wage is yet to be implemented across the country. The average worker is forced to sustain themselves and their families by engaging in additional forms of employment, trade or small scale enterprises to sustain themselves and their families. There is also a large degree of unemployment across the country, over 25%, and this is significantly higher in northern Nigeria, especially in places with large populations like Kaduna State. 

Cultural Challenges - There are numerous cultural factors that affect the production, storage, and dissemination of food produce in Kaduna state. A major one is religious festivals like Eid El Fitr, Easter, Eid El Kabir, Christmas, etc when the celebrations include excessive consumption and sharing of various foods produce and animals. These periods are characterized by a hike in the market costs of certain food items and types of animals and it comes with an artificial scarcity of these items.

Technological Challenges - The adoption of mechanized agriculture has been relatively slow across Nigeria and in Kaduna state. Many farmers still use locally made tools and farming implements either due to the high cost of acquiring modern equipment or the unavailability of these modernized farming methods and practices. This has stagnated the growth and adoption of improved agricultural technologies.

Political and Policy Challenges - The current pricing, taxation, and export duty are some of the policies that are still considered unfavorable to the farmers and producers who may be considering engaging in the sector. The instability of oil prices is also a determining factor of the market price of food and other related goods.

All of these challenges are ongoing and there is little evidence to suggest they will not be the same or worse in 2050

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

My vision entails creating a synergy across the supply chain between farmers, cattle rearers, food processing factories, consumers, and food storage & distribution organizations. The aim is to reduce the overall cost of producing, transporting, processing and storing agricultural produce from the start of the food chain to the end consumers, whilst tackling excessive waste along the way. As the producers (Farmers, Poultry farmers, etc) want to produce as much as possible and sell it all off in good time, they often neglect the amounts of foods that get lost or wasted along the way. Mitigating the amount of produce (crops, livestock, etc) and the resources used in growing them will go a long way in improving the availability of these items.

This requires creating a socially responsible enterprise where every member of the food chain is involved, responsible for and enjoys being a part of the entire process of agriculture, food production, food distribution, nutrition, and waste management. This can be achieved by first identifying each stakeholder along the food system supply chain and creating added value for each of these stakeholders.

There is a local, national, international and global push towards increased production of foods all over the world. This focus on producing more does not address the need to curb or try to eradicate food waste and food loss across the world.

The goal of the primary producers (Farmers, Livestock Rearer or Rancher, Fisherman, etc) is simply to sell their produce at the best prices within the shortest viable time. With increasing demand every year, this becomes an arduous task as various factors may affect the possibility of achieving this goal consistently. By creating a more interactive, cooperative and agile system that involves these 1st stage producers in the entire journey of their produce all the way to the consumer markets, they can contribute their expertise on how to mitigate loss of produce, wastage of resources by the wholesaler/retailer and thereby improve their knowledge on how best to store their harvests.

An added advantage of this system is value-added services being shared or exchanged across the supply chain. The 2nd stage consumers (Food processing plants, Supermarkets, Retailers, Market vendors, etc) as part of being more closely integrated into the food chain system can now recommend ways to mitigate food loss and food waste. This may include rewarding the 1st stage producers with incentives such as a points system where they earn credits, funding, training or other rewards.

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.

Nigerians are gifted in their ability to adapt to change, our resilience in times of difficulty and our enthusiasm towards industrious endeavors. The people of Kaduna state are the same and with a system that allows people to plan their livelihoods with limited available resources whilst catering to their immediate needs, the community will thrive.

- There will be a significant reduction in the number of sick people in hospitals as a result of malnutrition and other related diseases.

- There would also be a rise in the number of people willing to engage in agriculture, food production, retailing and other related services due to the increased viability of this sector.

- The reduction of food waste and food loss will positively improve the cleanliness and sanitation around the city and its environs.

- New products, services, and enterprises that enhance healthy & wholesome living standards will be introduced into society.

- Government policies will be structured in a better way to promote foreign direct investment, FDI in the agricultural sector and all other related industries.

A food system is intrinsically intertwined with the livelihood, prosperity and developmental ability of any place, region or society. The ease at which we source, purchase, store and acquire food and water to nourish ourselves and our families is arguably the sole reason why we strive to make a living.

As Kaduna state is strategically located as a hub of industry, agriculture, investment, entrepreneurship, leadership, creativity, and sustainability, there will be a significant multiplier effect on people in the neighboring states.

This new food system will immensely help to inspire people to venture into other areas of human existence that need development and innovative solutions. The colloquial adage that says ‘a hungry man is an angry man’ may likely become extinct as with fewer people suffering from hunger and malnutrition there will be more progress in the community. 

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

The SUANAE project . . . Changing the global food supply chain landscape through efficient waste management, increased corporate social responsibility and cost-saving incentives that generate employment while preserving finite natural resources . . .

This system aims to build a food system whose foundation provides food security to the immediate and neighboring communities whilst curtailing food loss and food waste throughout the food chain. This will create a symbiotic coexistence between every stakeholder throughout the entire food supply chain whereby they are all equally invested and responsible for the success of the system.

Agricultural practices will no longer need to strain the surrounding environment due to overproduction or poor disposal systems. There will, therefore, be a balance between production, processing, supply and distribution of agricultural products that do not strain either segment.

Families with little to no income will be able to access a platform that can offer them the right foods and nutrition they need at affordable prices. They will also be able to volunteer or get work/employment within the new food system supply chain and earn extra income to support their needs.

The price of food items will be stable and in some cases reduced as there will be an adequate supply, consistent availability and a dearth of artificial scarcity. Low-income families will then be able to plan better and afford to purchase the right kinds of foods that provide the right nutritional value.

There will be a more consistent supply of agricultural products all year round, and this will help to curb the rise in prices of food produce and livestock during religious festivals.

The use of technology to monitor the production, transportation, sale, distribution, and disposal of agricultural products can create an industry sector of its own. This could also aid in the increase in the exportation of farm produce as there will be a better logistical system throughout the food chain system.

The state and federal governments will be more flexible on continual improvement of their policies to allow for better accountability and more favorable taxation in the agricultural, food processing and other related sectors. This is essential in order to promote Kaduna state as a viable destination for foreign direct investment in these sectors.

How did you hear about the Food System Vision Prize?

  • VC4A


Join the conversation:

Photo of Simone Silotti

Parabéns pela iniciativa e coragem! Michael.

Será que o meu projeto Sal da Terra pode ser útil para sua região (aqui nesta plataforma).
Um forte abraço

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