Best Ideas 2018 features all the nominated entries submitted to the Youth Citizen Entrepreneurship Competition under ‘Submit your Idea’ category. All the entries consist of innovative solution or proposition for an enterprise that champions the Sustainable Development Goals. They can be on the conceptual, planning, or start-up stage. If you want to know the 10 finalists in this category, click HERE
Production of high quality biological inputs for an agroecological agriculture
Explain your idea in details:
“BioLife” is a start-up created in 2017 and specialized in the production of biological inputs including compost and bio-pesticides for intensive agro-ecological production (especially in vegetable production). This start-up promotes the use of appropriate technology and locally available resources to produce high quality organic inputs available in real time for producers. This allows the start-up to release its products at a highly competitive price. The use of compost and bio-pesticides produced by BioLife helps to double sustainably the current yields of vegetable growers while ensuring natural resources conservation and consumers’ health. A quality after-sales service (through training of producers on basic agro-ecological production techniques) available and provided by BioLife staff will help to increase the income of the targeted producers. Biopesticides are used to efficiently control the pests and disease in vegetable production and home gardens. In term of innovation, our compost is free of sand and other residues. With appropriate technology we reduce the composting period from 3 month to 45 days. The raw materials used to produce our compost are basically plant and animal residues locally available and selected based on their richness in macro and micronutrients. Our mission are to - Produce high quality bio-fertilizers for sustainable intensification of vegetable production in Benin - Produce bio-pesticides with broad spectrum of action (extraction of large amounts of active ingredients, combination of several active ingredients) for an effective and ecological control of pests and diseases that undermine vegetable production in Benin - Produce different types of essential oils effective in a healthy preservation of post-harvest products. Our vision is to Move from startup status to a competitive enterprise specialized in the production of high quality organic inputs accessible to producers.
Expected impact of your idea on sustainable development
With our idea we hope to improve farmers and consumers life style and health. Indeed, farmers using organic inputs instead of those chemicals run zero risk of having carcinogenic and other diseases. It will also eliminate the residues of chemicals found in food and thus reduce food poisoning among consumers. Our idea is also a way to deal with the climate change issues we are currently facing because it has been shown that crops are more resistant to biotic and abiotic stresses when produced with natural inputs than when they are produced with chemical inputs. The production of high biological input will also contribute to the protection of the environment indeed by reducing the pollution of air, water, soil by chemical residues. Today, agriculture is recognized as the second most important sector of environmental pollution after industry mainly because of the different chemicals that are used. By the end of 2018, we expect to be have at least 150 farmers in urban and peri-urban areas using our products and we expect this figure to triple by Mid-2019. Finally our idea will participate in the reduction of unemployment because it provides at least 30 direct jobs and contributes to create a demand in animal and crop residues, thereby increasing livelihoods for both livestock and crops farmers.
Plans for implementation and sustainability
Our target market is the vegetable growers of the urban and peri-urban area of Benin estimated at more than 3000 producers. We also target the landscape designers of the urban area of Benin. Currently we use to provide our compost for the experimental and vegetable production site of Laboratory of Genetics, Horticulture and Seeds Science (GBioS) where they use it to grow different crops. We started our activities based on personal funding but are looking for funding to expand our production and reach our goals. Our team is composed by 4 agronomists : (1) A leader who coordinates all the activities of the group; (2) A person in charge of the production and the planning of the activities related to the composting (3) A plant protection specialist in charge of biopesticides and essential oils production (4) The finance and marketing manager, in charge of the treasury of the start-up and the marketing of the different products. Finally we have a few employees who handle the transport of raw materials to the place of production and also the monitoring of the production.
Jelila Blalogoe was born in 29 July 1993 in Cameroon. She holds a Bachelor degree in Crop Science at the Faculty of Agronomic Science of The University of Abomey-Calavi (Benin) in 2015. Currently she is doing her Master's degree in Plant Breeding at the University of Kwazulu Natal (South Africa) in collaboration with the University of Abomey-Calavi (Benin). She is also a research assistant at the Laboratory of Genetics, Horticulture and Seed Sciences of the Faculty of Agronomic Science were she is mainly working on Neglected and Under Utilized Crops but more specifically on African Leafy Vegetables breeding. Jelila is very interested in sustainable agriculture and is a co-founder of a young startup called BioLife which aims to produce high quality biological inputs for agroecological agriculture. BioLife was selected in 2017 by the foundation of the University of Abomey Calavi through its incubation program called UAC startup valley where BioLife members are following various training in entrepreneurship. Based on our performance in the incubation system of the UAC Startup Valley Foundation, our start-up was represented at the 2018 Next Einstein Forum (NEF) held in Kigali capital of Rwanda from 26-28 March 2018. Jelila’s main motivation is her dream to see Africa self sufficient one day to feed her population and that why she work hard everyday. Her main quality is her love of good-quality work. That's why she loves this motto " Genius only means hard worker".