Chikita Beans Project.
A project focused on combating climate change, improving nutrition for school children while reducing post harvest losses.
I confirm that I am fully aware of the eligibility criteria, and based on its description, I am eligible to apply to the CSV Prize 2017.
Chikita beans Project.
Growth (the pilot has already launched and is starting to expand)
Annual budget in 2017 (USD)
Number of beneficiaries impacted so far
Headquarters location: Country
Headquarters location: City
Location(s) of impact
A brief description of the Chikita beans Project Team.
Brief description of the Project's business model and how it will achieve self sustainability.
The United States Agency for International Development (Feed the Future Uganda) helped fund a Market study and product test to gauge the need for precooked beans in schools in Uganda. The aim was to verify our assumptions about the constraints schools face with beans and thereafter test the acceptability and willingness to purchase a precooked bean product. Results showed that over 86% of respondents were willing to buy precooked beans as soon as they were available on the market.
Other solutions like energy saving cook stoves and eco-friendly charcoal briquettes are being promoted as as solution, they are not easily accessible to all and have a high set up cost.
The advantage of our solution is that it will not cost schools extra. Our product will cost the same as the dry beans schools currently purchase making it readily available to every one.
Brief Description of how our innovation could impact our community.
1) Improving school Nutrition
2) Protecting the environment by providing schools with precooked beans that will reduce their firewood consumption by up to 75%
3) Reducing post harvest losses for small holder farmers by buying their produce directly from them right after harvest.
Team members Preparing for the Product Market Survey
Survey Team Member During a taste, test at rural school in Uganda
A brief description of the solution the Chikita Beans Project team came up with to improve school nutrition and to reduce the amount of firewood that schools in Uganda consume.
Brief Summary of what the Chikita Beans Project is and the Problem we are trying solve.
Problem: What problem is this initiative trying to address?
Problems: 1) Climate Change. Schools in Uganda consume over 1.4 billion kilos of firewood annually. This firewood is primarily used to cook food for 8 million students nationwide.
Problem 2) Poor School nutritional standards. The nutritional value of food fed to students in Ugandan schools is very poor where it is available. More than 25% of students do not get any meals during the school day. Problem 3) High post harvest losses. Farmers lose up to 30% of of their produce due to poor post harvest processing methods.
Solution Summary: What is the proposed solution? What do you see as its most promising aspects for creating shared value?
Being that beans are used by every school to feed 8 million students nationwide on every school day, they are the single largest cause of high firewood consumption by schools. We estimate that schools consume just over 1 billion kilos of firewood annually to cook beans alone. Our solution is to provide schools with affordable, nutritious, precooked beans . These are beans that require cooking for less than 10 minutes. Precooked dehydrated beans are quite common in western countries, particularly in North and South America where they are used in schools, restaurants, commissaries, cafeterias and regular households.
Though old, this innovation can help reduce firewood consumption because precooked beans require cooking for only 10 minutes as opposed to dry uncooked beans that require up to 3 hours of cooking time. With modern processing machinery shelf stable, nutritious beans can be availed to schools at the same price they are currently paying for their dry uncooked beans.
Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Specify both the social and the environmental impact of your work
As startup, our project is still in the pilot phase. However, in partnership with USAID-FTF Uganda, we produced a sample bean product that requires less than 10 minutes of cooking time. Being that this isn't a new innovation, utility of the beans is known but their acceptability in a new market was unknown. The beans were tested in schools across Uganda as part of comprehensive market/product test survey. This survey clearly shows the potential to reduce firewood usage in schools by up to 75% if precooked beans are used instead . The product survey also clearly showed willingness to purchase a precooked bean product that consumes less firewood with 94% of primary schools and 78% of secondary schools indicating that they would buy it as soon as it became available. The impact of
Our initial target market is 1000 schools ( 350,000 students) in Central UGanda with a long term plan to scale up targeting a market base of 22,000 schools in Uganda and 34,000 in Kenya.
Financial sustainability plan: How is this initiative financially supported? How will you ensure its financial sustainability long-term?
The Pilot stage of the project along with the Market validation stage have been partly funded by a grant from USAID-Feed-The-Future Uganda. The rest of the operating costs have been through private funding from the project promoters.
For the project to progress, machinery to set up a small scale facility that can produce viable quantities of affordable precooked beans for schools is required. And this is the reason we are seeking funding through the CSV prize.
Our projections show that with a facility that can produce about 15,000 tons annually, we shall become self sustainable within a year and scale up with proceeds from the sale of beans to schools in. This is possible due to the fact that there are no processors of note supplying schools with precooked beans country wide.
Unique value proposition: What makes your initiative innovative? How does your project differ from other organizations working in the same field?
Value proposition: Convenience and cost reduction. The average school could save up to $1100 annually by using precooked beans that shall cost the same as they already pay for dry uncooked beans. ($0.85 per kilo).
Competition. There are no precooked bean processors in Uganda supplying food affordable to schools. Energy efficient cook stoves have been advanced but are too costly for the majority of Ugandan schools while precooked beans wont require schools to spend any extra money.
Founding story: Share a story about the "Aha!" moment that sparked the beginning of this initiative.
The founding team being made of individuals spanning 50 decades of knowledge in food processing and agriculture in Uganda, developed this idea organically. Having identified the dependence of schools on beans as the major reason why they consume a lot of fire wood, one of our founding members who lived in America for 18 years proposed the idea of precooked beans. While in America he for one of the largest restaurant chains, Taco Bell which uses precooked beans similar to what we are proposing. It just so happens that by procuring fresh beans from farmers immediately after harvest, we can eliminate their post harvest losses. This would allows us to produce a shelf stable product that is more nutritious than the dry uncooked beans currently being used by schools and uses far less firewood. A solution that will actually save farmers and schools money while protecting the environment.
Where did you hear about the Nestlé Creating Shared Value Prize?
Upon recommendation from others