NO-TOKOSA foods

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NO-TOKOSA foods: Soak, Stir and Eat

Kampala, UgandaKiryamba, Uganda
Year Founded:
2014
Organization type: 
for profit
Project Stage:
Start-Up
Budget: 
$50,000 - $100,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

NO-TOKOSA is a super nutritious and ready to eat food product that will nourish the children and general population of Uganda. NO-TOKOSA is made from locally grown foods supplied by rural women farmers in Uganda, thus the project provides them with a sustainable market and income source.

WHAT IF - Inspiration: Write one sentence that describes a way that your project dares to ask, "WHAT IF?"

What if NO-TOKOSA could cut hunger and malnutrition in Uganda, improve food security and promote sustainable livelihoods among small scale farmers.
About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

Hunger and malnutrition are major problems that cost Uganda about 5% of its national income as reported by the African Union. Most poor Ugandans eat monotonic foods with no vitamins and nutrients everyday. Also post harvest food losses (estimated ~10-20 %) impact farmers' livelihoods and exacerbate seasonal hunger. The impacts of malnutrition and hunger affect health, education, the labor force and social economics, a hindrance to development.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

It is believed that cutting hunger and malnutrition among children and youth as well as promoting food security would bring greater returns to Uganda's GDP. NO-TOKOSA products will comprise of one or a blend of different locally grown foods including tubes, cereals and legumes with added vitamins and nutrients. The product will be ready to consume anywhere, anytime. All one needs to do is add water, stir and enjoy. This offers a huge potential to cut hunger e.g in school going children. We promote a women out growers scheme and train them in better farming methods at the same time provide markets for their produce creating income sources for them. NO-TOKOSA will sell at low prices to the Ugandan markets with hope for regional scaling.

Awards

None as yet
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

It starts with the local farmer and ends with the consumer. We will buy produce from our out-grower's scheme members and other local farmers, deliver to our collection and production center, sort for quality control, process and distribute in the markets. Akiiki one of the local farmers who couldn't find market for her produce and suffered post-harvest losses would now be sure of a steady market and source of income to support her family. On the other hand, Amooti's son who goes to school 5 km away doesn't have to starve during lunch anymore with the availability of NO-TOKOSA. His health, class concentration and performance improves and a brighter future lies ahead of him. His mum's productivity hours increase, as his sick days lessen.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

Our company NAHOT investments is registered and the NO-TOKOSA brand name patenting is in process. In the last year, we managed to sensitize and recruit into the project about 5 local farmers in Kiryamba, Hoima. Our initial steps have been to try and process the product using very local resources using cassava as a test case. Akiiki our local farmers' leader together with 2 volunteers have carried out the first NO-TOKOSA cassava processing experiment and the products have been donated to school going children. The response is positive as one child had this to say "mum I just mix this flour with water and drink in class, good". Right now we need to identify the vitamins and nutrients needed to get that final product we dream of before we launch it. We intend to liaise with the Food Technology Business Incubation Center at Makerere University for more professional food processing tips.

Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact?

We hope to impact over 10,000 children in the first 5 years of operation, reducing chronic hunger & undernourishment and to promote better health and growth. We also hope to improve market accessibility to over 500 farmers in the first 5 years of operation with potential for expansion. We will liaise with schools, hospitals and churches to market the products initially but will also use local media advertisements. We will establish long term market partnerships with wholesale dealers, big supermarkets and relief agencies and NGO. We hope to expand into other regional countries within 10 years.
Sustainability

Financial Sustainability Plan: What is this solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

We hope that production costs will be low and we will get profit on each product sold. Profit will be utilized at a 50% gross margin to sustain the business. As an example, if a kg of our product costs 500 UGX to produce and was sold at 1000 UGX, 250 UGX of the profit will go towards sustaining the business. Once we meet the initial costs of production and marketing and establish a stable market, we know the project will be self sustaining.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

The global/local market has many products that directly or indirectly improve nutrition. What we know is that the many nutri-foods on market today target the rich and middle class whereas our products mainly target the poor person who lives on $2 dollars a day. Our project will impact hunger and malnutrition massively since the largest number of malnourished lies at the base of the pyramid. By establishing relationships with the local farmers and involving local labor in the production, we hope to break any social-cultural barriers that may exist towards a new processed food product.
Team

Founding Story

One day as I (Jamiat) read my daughter's food menu from her child care school in Irvine, during my PhD study period, I went 27 years back and thought about the little 5 year old me growing up in Uganda and the kind of foods I ate. I laughed and cried at the same time. I remembered it was cassava today, cassava tomorrow and everyday. 27 years later, not much has changed. Many kids still face chronicle hunger and malnutrition. Knowing our community eating habits, I thought, why can't we make similar products as on market, but enrich them with nutrients so that even if one eats them daily, one still gets the required nutrients. How about add a twist, make them ready to eat. Hence NO-TOKOSA.

Team

NO-TOKOSA is a product of NAHOT investments limited, a registered company in Uganda. The word TOKOSA locally translates as cook. So NO-TOKOSA means NO-COOK. We have a number of talented and experienced staff that are doing all they can to make this project a success. The idea generator and at the core of NO-TOKOSA is Jamiat Nanteza. She is interestingly a scientist with a big heart for our environment and a mum with a big heart for our kids well being. She is responsible for fundraising project resources. The NO-TOKOSA project team leader is Howard Tugume, an agricultural economist with great expertise in agribusiness startups and value chain management. We also have a project administrator, Mujulizi John another economist with great social and business management skills who also acts as our marketing specialist. Production manager is Kigwanye Muhammed, who has expertise in foods, nutrition and quality. In terms of community outreach, Jane Nabakka is our community development officer. About 3 voluntary members in the villages of focus exist and this number will very likely grow in the nearby future.