Kenyan start-ups to benefit from O-Farms agribusiness program for SMEs

Ten Kenyan-based start-ups are set to access funding from O-Farms agribusiness program to address food losses and by-products.[Standard,file]

At least 10 Kenyan-based start-ups are set to access funding of up to Sh6.5 million to address food losses and by-products.

This follows the launch of the second cohort of the agri-circularity program by O-Farms, an African SME accelerator focused on circular agribusiness with the goal of making circularity a mainstream approach for improved rural livelihoods and sustainability.

Agri-circularity creates a more sustainable food system that drives innovation through developing innovative business models that reduce agricultural losses, thereby creating new economic opportunities and jobs in the region.

The programme is funded by IKEA Foundation to help scale circular agribusiness innovations in East Africa.

In Kenya, the initiative is spearheaded by E4Impact Accelerator, an organisation supporting the growth of new businesses in Kenya. So far the programme has supported 11 SMEs.

E4Impact Entrepreneurship Centers Director, David Cheboryot, said the initiative targets SMEs with solutions to strengthen their business models to thrive.

"Kenya has the potential to sustainably feed its growing population without depleting its natural resources. Our focus is to build innovation support infrastructure that enables circular agribusiness to grow and develop," he said.

Cheboryot expressed confidence that as the O-Farm Accelerator Program enters its second edition, Kenya will solidify its position as an agricultural hub.

"We are looking forward to receiving the second cohort of agri-circularity SMEs as we strive towards cementing Kenya as an agricultural hub in Africa," he added.

O-Farms was launched in 2021 as Africa's first accelerator program focusing on agri-circularity with the goal of making circularity a mainstream approach for improved rural livelihoods and sustainability.

Yummy Pot Limited which sells instant mashed potato flour and raw potato flour to households and businesses and Janabichi Agri Solutions, a firm that converts rejected tomatoes and capsicum to various sauces are some of the organisations that have benefited from the programme.

Others include Sbike Limited which uses market organic waste and supplements it with by-products from the sugar production process, such as pulp and molasses to produce ethanol and Agribusiness Solutions which processes avocado oil using a zero-waste circular process and goes on to process the avocado waste to make briquettes and nutrients for black soldier fly farming.

Soil Doctors, Organic Fields, Stawi Seeds Ltd, Korogocho Market Traders Association (KMTA), as well as Vermitech Consultants Ltd-manufactures, also benefited.

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