Published on June 25, 2016 um 16:45
Explain your idea in details:
Almost 70 per cent of Africans live in the rural settings. 70 per cent of the rural population in Africa comprises of smallholder farmers who contribute at least 80 per cent of the total agricultural output. However, most of African smallholder production remains noncompetitive on regional and global market. Usually, the quantity and quality of produce do not satisfy the market demands. The main objective of the idea is to transform smallholder farming in Malawi and across Africa from being a mere social activity, which simply meets household needs, into a commercial or business activity. Several strategic activities are planned to achieve this objective. Firstly, i recognize the need to build capacity in the farmers. The idea, therefore, is to provide on-the-field as well as out-of-the-field trainings regarding best practices on; farming, pre-harvest and post-harvest methods of handling the crops, etc. Secondly, i also recognize farmers' inability to access appropriate and adequate farm inputs, especially due to poverty. Hence, the idea provides a solution in the form of farm input financing whereby repayment will be made by the farmers upon the sale of their crops. Thirdly, i acknowledge farmers' inability to maintain the quantity and quality of the produce after harvest due to poor storage facilities and transport system. The idea, firstly, is to establish community warehouses that will also act as pick-up points from which the produce will be ferried to main warehouses constructed in strategic central points. Again, the idea will ensure effective, efficient and reliable transportation system between pick-up points and the central warehouses. The other important activity of the enterprise is of helping give farmers an access to multiple and competing buyers and more markets through an establishment of the commodity exchange market. The approach leverages e-commerce, linking farmers and buyers via a commercial platform.
Expected impact of your idea on sustainable development
'Africa's smallholder farmers can be agriculture's game changers of the 21st century'-Jane Karuku, president of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa. Her statement is true in the sense that up to 80 per cent of the food that we eat in Africa is actually produced by smallholder farmers-people who tend crops and raise livestock on less than a hectare of land-and most of them are women. Agriculture is by far the surest way by which the world can give all Africans the opportunity to have health diets, earn income and live dignified lives. By promoting smallholder farming, Felice's AgriSolutions is at the same time joining all other forces in the fight against hunger and malnutrition in Africa. The effort is aligning with the SDGs 2 and 3. Too, the idea is a creator of jobs and generator of income for the 500 plus million potential African smallholder farmers most of whom are women and, hence, fulfills SDGs 1, 5 and 8. The trainings that the enterprise offers for capacity building make the targets skillful and knowledgeable. This effort fulfills SDGs 4 and 5. Clearly, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are one of the yard sticks that will be used to evaluate the success of the idea's long term milestones. On short term milestones, the enterprise plans to work with 60 smallholder farmers organized in three working groups for its pilot phase. The success in putting together the groups, in addition to the establishment and maintenance of convenient storage facilities, designing and implementation of effective, efficient and reliable transport system all will serve as measures for evaluating the success of the idea. Overall, the ultimate maximized measurable quantity and quality of smallholder production as well as farmers' access to multiple and competing buyers will provide an important measure, too.
Plans for implementation and sustainability
Felice's AgriSolutions places African smallholder farmers at the center of its business model. This is in recognition of the fact that they are the most critical actors in any food security strategies in Africa. The model helps build the required capacity in the farmers for best farming practices, creates commercial platforms that will help farmers reduce post-harvest loss through warehousing, helps to give them access to multiple and competing buyers and more markets, helps provide farmers with access to credit and financial products and helps give manufacturers a reliable supply of raw materials. Currently, the idea is a beneficiary of the Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme and a prospective recipient of seed funding of US$ 5000. The enterprise plans to establish partnerships with relevant consultants and extension workers. For example, Mivi Agri-Enterprises are possible partners for the provision of capacity building trainings. I also introduced the idea to Mangochi District Agricultural Office to seek a possibility to work with the office's extension workers.
I am Felix Yola, the founder and CEO of Felice's AgriSolutions. I am a Malawian, the first born in the family of four sons. I turned 28 on 25th April this year and I am single. I have just completed my degree programme at DMI-St. John the Baptist University where i have been studying bachelor degree in Social Work (results pending). I believe in helping others help themselves. I am also an ardent believer that entrepreneurship is the greatest catalyst and facilitator of development in Africa. As Tony Elumelu says, 'Your idea can transform Africa.' Surely, my idea can transform Africa. Naturally, i am a strong leader who believes in team work to get tasks done. I hold myself to be a prospective employer who will take longer-term view, practise patience in pursuit of profits while building up the capacity of the communities. I have been the chairperson of my church's youth ministry since 2012 as well as the university's student union president for the 2014/15 academic year. Recently, my idea got selected into the Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme, popularly known as TEEP and i am a prospective recipient of the programme's seed funding of up to $5000.
Stage of Idea
Rapport Building, Community Meeting.