Community Empowerment through Natural Resources, Agricultural Resources and Technology (CENART,CONSORT)

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Community Empowerment through Natural Resources, Agricultural Resources and Technology (CENART,CONSORT)

Project Stage:
$1,000 - $10,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

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Nelson has redefined the meaning of organic fertilizer in Kenya and set the stage for the roll out of a new local industry in its manufacture, marketing and distribution. He is also demonstrating how this new industry can be built to provide jobs to the majority of unemployed youth and women all over rural and urban Kenya.

About Project

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Nelson is redefining the idea of organic fertilizer in Kenya- challenging the agricultural sector to think of it more in terms of nutrient composition as opposed to it simply being any fertilizer that is nonchemical in nature. The view of organic fertilizer as manure, mulch or any form of decomposed organic waste is archaic according to Nelson. An analysis of the nutrient value added to soil through traditional organic fertilizers shows little improvement nutritive value of crops grown in such soils. Save for the absence of chemical components introduced to crops through chemical fertilizer, there is not much value add derived from what is currently referred to as organic fertilizer. Nelson believes that organic fertilizer should repair the soils and improve the nutritive value of food. He has as such created a specification for the set of nutrients that must be contained in all organic fertilizer and has had this specification adopted by the Kenya bureau of standards to certify and regulate the production and distribution organic fertilizer. He has documented and made public the process for the manufacture of organic fertilizer that meets the newly established standards of the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KBS). He has gone even further to advocate for the inclusion of the new definition complete with specifications in Kenya’s fertilizer act of the constitution. An example of an organic fertilizer that meets the KBS standards is Rutuba which Nelson himself is manufacturing. It has been tried and tested on cash and food crop farms all over Kenya and found to drastically increase yields and nutritive value. Among many impressive statistics is the fact that when used on coffee, the beans have been found to be larger, denser and richer in flavor. When used on Maize, the yields have been seen to improve by over 60%. By doing the above, Nelson has undoubtedly set up the architecture for the rollout of an entirely new local industry in Kenya. Nelson knows that like most agricultural based industries, the organic fertilizer industry will attract players from all sectors but most likely be driven by the private sector. He feels that with the agriculture sector being the largest in Kenya, it has the potential create employment for the vast majority of the unemployed youth and women and the organic fertilizer industry can contribute substantially to that goal. He realizes however that most business models are designed to focus on bottom-line above all things and feels that there needs to be a new business model that is as focused on community empowerment as it is on its bottom-line. To demonstrate his idea, he started Kenya’s first grassroots based value chain that will engage youth and women no only as users but also as employed marketers and distributors of organic fertilizer all across rural Kenya. At scale, an industry based on Nelson’s model has the potential to employ hundreds of thousands of people across both rural and urban Kenya.