Young entrepreneur brings postharvest technology to farmers

Silvester with his SL-3-multi-crop thresher and his thresher operator.

Silvester Ngei, a member of Bountifield’s Mavuno Bora program, is a young entrepreneur and agrovet operator located in Kibuni, Kenya. During a field visit to his farm, Bountifield’s Agribusiness Coordinator Charles Kariuki spoke with Silvester as he was threshing pigeon peas and described him as “very hands on, energetic and full of life!”  

At the time of the meeting, Silvester had threshed close to 30 bags of pigeon peas, a practice that would have normally taken much more time and effort without Bountifield’s SL-3 multi-crop thresher. Speaking hopefully, Silvester mentioned how he projected to thresh close to 100 bags by the end month and near 500 bags by the end of the season. In the next harvest cycle, he will begin threshing green gram followed by cow peas.  

Reaching farmers with threshing services

With the SL-3 thresher, Silvester provides postharvest processing services to farmers in his community as a fee-for-service business to help them save both time and labor from manual threshing. While this type of postharvest equipment is often too expensive for individual farmers to purchase on their own, entrepreneurs like Silvester are uniquely positioned to create more accessibility to these much-needed tools for just a small fee. This means that instead of one tool for one farmer, Silvester can travel around and reach hundreds of farmers with his SL-3 multi-crop thresher that works with a wide variety of crops. This is the basis of the Bountifield one-to-many approach for reaching more smallholder farmers with postharvest technology.  

“The farmers to whom I have offered threshing services so far are very happy and excited about how quick and cost effectively the work gets done. Most are even planning to plant more pulses in the upcoming seasons and contract me once again during harvest to offer threshing services,” Silvester explained to Charles.  

Bountifield provides resources for business growth

Silvester and his operator with the threshed product.

Silvester understands the opportunities with his thresher and this knowledge, combined with business training he received from Bountifield, will help him to expand his business for capitalizing on income generation while supporting smallholder farmers with their pigeon pea, green gram, and cow pea production. Starting his businesses in 2020, Silvester has grown exponentially in both output and profit. With Bountifield’s collaboration in technology and business coaching, he can now grow and develop his business even further. 

“I love the training, especially the bits about record keeping, budgeting, managing revenue/costs, and future planning. This has helped me to run my business in an even better way!” 

Support entrepreneurs like Silvester

The agribusiness potential with an agricultural entrepreneur like Silvester is a key factor in helping Africa to feed herself. This approach supports to maximize the efforts and output of smallholder farmers in order to reach larger markets. These farmers often face challenges such as extreme weather, invasions of locusts, and the adverse effects of climate change. But with access to tools and resources made available through programs like Bountifield’s Mavuno Bora Program, entrepreneurs can introduce more efficient production practices for smallholder farming, strengthening their food systems and making them more resilient to challenges in the future.