Unlocking Access to Postharvest Technologies in Kenya

Published December 2020

Bountifield International is pleased to share recent results from its project in Kenya, entitled Mavuno Bora, (Swahili for better harvest), funded by the van Lengerich family. Through this project, we have introduced an innovative business model to unlock access to a range of postharvest technologies, primarily for staple crops, and financing for African micro-, small-, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) in the rural sector.

This paper describes key learnings to-date while highlighting strategies and approaches to achieve greater technology adoption and access, more inclusive value chains, fair returns, and food security for rural farming communities. Our focus is on equipping rural entrepreneurs as fee-for-service providers to farmers utilizing a one-to-many approach.

We understand that rural entrepreneurs, primarily women and youth, can develop their capacity and their business potential to supply food markets from processing crops such as sorghum and cassava. More farmers can also save time and labor and increase their revenue potential. Realizing this potential is a lynchpin to improved food markets and sustainable development.

Mavuno Bora asks three overarching questions:

  1. Are farmers willing to pay for postharvest services, such as threshing and drying?
  2. Is there a viable business opportunity in investing in equipment and providing these services for a fee?
  3. How can Bountifield unlock financing and co-investment for these operators while incentivizing other actors in the relevant value chains?

This paper begins to answer these questions. Our aim is to build this work forward in Kenya  with an aspiration to positively impact one billion people by 2050 across sub-Saharan Africa.

Special thanks to the van Lengerich family for funding this project.