ENVIRONMENTAL AND AGRIBUSINESS INNOVATION CENTER

ENVIRONMENTAL AND AGRIBUSINESS INNOVATION CENTER: FOOD SECURITY, ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AND PRESERVATION

NYAGATARE, RwandaNYAGATARE, Rwanda
Year Founded:
2014
Organization type: 
hybrid
Project Stage:
Start-Up
Budget: 
$250,000 - $500,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

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

This project is all about providing training and coaching on environmental protection and preservation, agribusiness and farm entrepreneurship skills to farmers. We shall also provide fruit trees seedlings for growing and market linkages after they start harvesting.

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

What if all wastes collected are transformed into organic manure, increasing farm production, farmers make profits, creating sustainable employment opportunities, and saving the entire environment by rendering it more wealthier and healthier.
About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

My project wants to solve malnutrition, environmental stress caused by deforestation due to high population pressure and poverty related problems. These are interconnected challenges faced by smallholders in our country and they stand for main hindrances to sustainable development targets.

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

My project will help farmers in Eastern Province starting in Nyagatare District through training and coaching them on environmental protection and inclusive agribusiness, fruit and agro forestry trees nurseries using techniques to plant and manage for increased production to make sales of extra production after consumption needs.

Awards

None
Impact: How does it Work

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

This solution makes difference in such a way that: farmers will get trained in environmental care, protection and preservation as well as green businesses. They will come up with green business ideas as well as agribusiness paired to environmental stewardship. Finally, high productivity options on their lands, food security as well as poverty eliminated. As an example: one farmer who will plant mango trees will be able to harvest 100*30*350Frw/750=1000$ per year.

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

To date, farmers who have benefited from my previous project are now projecting to increase their efforts in Japanese plum farming for income generation. In this Nyagatare project under Environmental and Agribusiness Innovation center, I consider for example a farmer who plants 100 mango trees: after 2 years and a half, he will harvest as follow: 100*20kg*0.5$/kg=1000$ per annum. This money at household level is much money to pay school fees, health insurance as well as improving on shelter, food diversification, sleeping conditions as well as dressing habits. Their market sales will make a 50% reduction in market price and thus increasing the number of buyers and then consumers. This project seeks also to reduce fruits imports and thus contributing positively to the national trade balance and this is critical in sustaining pillars of smallholder farmers' poverty reduction strategies.

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

The strategies to moving forward include building strong partnerships with stakeholders (operating in environmental and agribusiness innovation), cooperative business development, entrepreneurship and business management as well as climate change and vulnerability management. I want to help farmers understand themselves the reason why farming ecosystems should be protected and preserved and this in turn will sustain present and future generations in food production because the high population pressure means high food demand and tackling and reducing accompanied poverty challenges.
Sustainability

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

Our target is 12,000 farmers grouped into cooperatives and we estimated an average of 100 mango trees. That is, with low estimates in production, we estimated only 20kg of mangoes, which ensures a total production on 20kg/tree*100trees*12,000=24,000,000kg. The revenues will be: 24,000,000kg*$0.5/kg=$12,000,000. With 5% which will be given to the organization per year, 12,000,000*5%=$600,000 per year. This will sustain our way of operations.

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

In the area, Rwanda Development Organization (RDO) is intervening in planting reforestation trees but their approach is different from mine because: 1. There is no employment opportunities in their way of addressing erosion, 2. There is no plan to reduce hunger using fruits yet the area holds free space between farms, that is, there should be reduction in free space and using those spaces for fruits production while covering the lands (reducing stress) and making money from the sales, 3. There is no plan for agro forestry trees planting to maintain and restore soil fertility.
Team

Founding Story

My name is Jean Baptiste Hategekimana, 31 years old and am from Rwanda. I have been engaged in farming and environmental related assignment (research and farm operation management) since 2006. I have served as farmers' adviser, cooperative coach, head of environmental and sustainability in different research and training projects (Envistewas Ltd). During my early childhood, my parent used to encourage me to care about the surrounding environment (farming systems, rainwater harvesting and management). From this, I developed strong passion on environmental protection, agribusiness management and resulting impacts: food and nutritional securities, poverty reduction and sustainability.

Team

The leader of the team is Mr Jean Baptiste Hategekimana, Bsc in Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness, Msc Poverty Reduction: Policy and Practice. Environmental practicioner: Jean Sauveur Iyamuremye, Bsc in Agricultural Sciences, option of Soil and Environmental Management Community mobilization: Christophe Ngamije, Bsc in Economics ICT Officer: Ms Clarisse Mukakagina, Postgraduate Diploma in Information and Communication Technology Accountant: Kanyama Solange, BBA.
Background
Please confirm how you heard about the Unilever Awards:

I have heard about Unilever Awards through www.opportunitiesforafricans.com

Please confirm your role in the initiative (eg Founder/co-Founder) and your organisational title:

I am the founder of the organization and my title in the organization is The Coordinator

Which of the 8 UN Global Goals (Sustainable Development Goals) pre-selected for this competition does your solution relate most closely to? [select all that apply]

No Poverty, Zero Hunger, Decent Work and Economic Growth, Responsible Consumption and Production, Climate Action.

Leadership and the Unilever Awards
Please provide examples of any previous entrepreneurial initiatives you have pioneered.

As an example of my entrepreneurial achievement, in 2011-2013 I have planted 500 tomato trees (Tamarillo fruits/Japanese plum) in my farm in Kaniga and encouraged 30 surrounding farmers to plant theirs (200 per each) where I have provided nurseries and their harvest was bought under contract with buyers from Kigali City and this made those farmers gain more incomes (each tree providing $1 a month during 6 months of harvest period). My net profit was $12,500 and from that moment the area has discovered that Tamarillo fruits are better to grow for their economic return and up to now, I am providing 30,000 fruit trees to them and others because the project has expanded to the entire sector (Kaniga-Gicumbi-Northern Province).
When I was setting up Kizinga farm Project on distributing Tamarillo nurseries to farmers, I have has tried them in my own farm and got positive response from their production capacity. But when I was approaching farmers, my idea was not accepted at the first time because I was targeting 100 farmers and they refused. My system was to sell to them but after they refused to buy from me, I changed my model and had an agreement with them to give them seedlings and do a technical support and then being paid when they harvest. Using this model, I have received 30 of the 100 previously targeted. Today, the request is for more than 100,000 but my present capacity is only 30,000 seedlings.

Beyond your existing team, who else are you working with to achieve your objectives, eg partners, advisors, mentors?

This project will need to partner with the University of Rwanda to offer internships to their Agricultural and Environmental studies students. We shall also need advisers and mentors to coach us along the way to help us reach far in creating the impact.