The Croton Megalocarpus tree is a wild growing tree, indigenous to Kenya and has a spreading upper-story flattish crown and horizontal layers of branches. The tree grows up to a height of 35m or more and can be grown from an altitude of 900m – 2100m.
These trees are found in dry upland areas, evergreen or semi-deciduous forests, moist upland forests, dense woodland and scattered tree grasslands. The plant has been found to yield 0.35 litres of oil per kilo of nuts. Moreso, their umbrella-like canopy is an effective windbreaker and the deep penetrating roots can offer a good soil retaining material as well promote infiltrations for the geographical areas covered.
EFK Group produces energy and agriculture products for industrial customers through a no-waste manufacturing process based entirely on the Croton nut, which grows indigenously across 8 African countries and has no other commercial, productive or edible use. The Company sources the Croton nut from local forest through rural BoP (Base of the Pyramid) who are paid per KG of harvest through a proprietary collection network. The flagship product, Croton Nut Oil, is consumed by local SMEs who use it as a biofuel to run off-grid generators due to a lack of reliable grid energy. Organic fertilizer, made from the waste of the oil pressing, is sold to corporate farms to restore soils depleted from today’s chemical-based intensive agriculture. During a two year proof of concept, EFK has sold over 25,000 liters of biofuel and 150 tons of organic fertilizer to 30 corporate customers, earning over US $100,000 in revenue while creating meaningful income for 2,000 of Kenya’s poorest people. Moving into 2015, the Company will begin to expand its capacity, secure distribution contracts with agri-product distributors and add two additional products to the mix: a solid fuel in the form of a briquette, used for industrial furnaces and boilers, and a poultry feed, capitalizing on the well-researched opportunity to turn the seed of the Croton into a commercial poultry feed.
Industrial operators of East Africa:
1) Biofuel - SMEs that run diesel generators because they are off-grid or require reliable, 24-7 energy production
2) Organic Fertilizer - Corporate farms that export production to Europe (30 acquired) & Agri-product distributors (negotiation stage with 3)
3) Briquettes - Industrial producers or cement, bricks, and other products that require furnaces or boilers burning large volumes of solid organic matter to generate heat
4) Poultry Feed - Direct to feed producers (to be used as a 10%-25% input) or to large poultry farmers as a protein supplement
1) Environment - Putting value on plentifully available, indigenous, otherwise wasted resource to discourage deforestation and increase conservation
2) Rural BoP - Earn a strong seasonal income from the simple activity of harvesting Croton nuts that have fallen to the ground. Top earning collectors during a 2013 POC earned the equivalent of one full month's worth of income in less than one week's time.
3) Renewable Energy and Organic Agriculture inputs for Industrial East Africa - Replacing expensive, imported, chemical-based products with low-cost, locally-produced, 100% organic products through a simple no-waste manufacturing process. Products perform equal or better than the ones they replace and reduce the carbon footprint within the supply chain.