Rabboni Smallholder Farmers’ Market Access ( RAFMAc )

About 40% of all food harvested in Africa goes to waste due to insufficient storage. But what if we drastically reduce the need for storage?

Photo of Henry Makumbi
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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.

  • Yes, I'm eligible

Preferred language

  • English

Organization name

Rabboni Group Ltd

Year founded

2014

Initiative stage

  • Growth (the pilot has already launched and is starting to expand)

Annual budget in 2017 (USD)

  • $250k - $500k

Number of beneficiaries impacted so far

  • 100 - 250

Organization type

  • Social enterprise

Secondary Focus Area

  • Nutrition

Headquarters location: Country

  • Uganda

Headquarters location: City

Mukono

Location(s) of impact

Uganda: Mukono, Buikwe
Rwanda: Kigali

Website

http://rabboni.co.ug/

Facebook URL

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1447001782293152/

Problem: What problem is this initiative trying to address?

We solve the problem of Post-Harvest loss and access to Market for rice, maize grain and coffee. Due to the current fractured agricultural ecosystem, the result is that over 40% of our staple crop production never makes it to the market due to insufficient on-farm storage, estimated at US $1.6 billion annually in Africa. This is usually followed by food insecurity every year in our East African region yet there are these simple existing technologies that we can use to reduce this food loss, reduce the need for storage.

Solution Summary: What is the proposed solution? What do you see as its most promising aspects for creating shared value?

The solution is Rabboni Smallholder Farmers’ Market Access (RaFMAc). Traditional solutions to post-harvest losses have focused their attention on how to improve and expand existing storage systems. However, storage is not the real problem. The root cause is the inability for farmers to sell their produce. Therefore they store it, which leads to loss through spoiling.
RaFMAc is designed to leverage our technology platform that uses USSD for the farmers and a web-based interface for the buyers. This provide smallholder farmers with direct access to equitable markets, reduce need for storage and where necessary we provide innovative storage solutions and improve the supply of inputs to them.
Creating shared value, our work is to empower people help themselves (enterprise development), creating impact and economic opportunity / inclusion of mainly youths and women in agriculture, to drive agricultural productivity, grow rural prosperity, and build broad-based stakeholder wealth in Uganda

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Specify both the social and the environmental impact of your work

1) There is Improvement in economic well being for the member farmers that we work with. We have seen average 30% increase in 105 farmer incomes and yields due to our work.
2) Access to credit, access to our Rabboni grain collection centre and agro-processing machinery in Mukono District.
3) Improving Soil Fertility: Because maize and most staple crops grow best at neutral pH levels, RGL encouraged the use of fertilizers high in nitrogen, such as Urea, while discouraging the application of fertilizers rich in phosphorous and potassium, such as diammonium phosphate (DAP).
• Natural Encroachment especially on forest reserves.
• Improved Female Productive & Financial inclusion has increased.
• Market distortion: RGL has the potential to distort the market by Increasing the market prices facing farmers and the responsiveness of market prices to higher/lower quality produce AND by cutting post-harvest loss and by integrating the trading process, RGL lowers the cost of the system.

Financial sustainability plan: How is this initiative financially supported? How will you ensure its financial sustainability long-term?

100% Earned income. We apply bargaining leverage and economies of scale.
Currently, we make money from the products and services we provide.

1) We make money on from Agricultural Commodity processing and trading. We match premium-quality supply with regional demand.
2) RAFMAC makes some money off the infrastructure we have provided (Rabboni Village collection centers in assigned districts in addition to our current central warehouse in Mukono) in terms of storage fees.
3) Input distribution and Financial Services. We invest in small scale rural agricultural value chains by distributing farm inputs and micro loan via our rural network infrastructure of Rabboni Village Centers.

Unique value proposition: What makes your initiative innovative? How does your project differ from other organizations working in the same field?

1. We overcome a key underlying structural problem that keeps rural communities / smallholder farmers poor: - low economies of scale. This makes us attractive to youths.
2. Mobile Technology: Distributed producers are enabled by the Rabboni Group
Technology Platform.
3. End-to-End Integration: RGL has created integrating efficiencies across the supply chain.
4. Strong Farm Partnerships: RGL has established an intimate presence at the farm-gate.
5. Capitalized Post-Harvest Handling.

Founding story: Share a story about the "Aha!" moment that sparked the beginning of this initiative.

It all started in 1993 when we were relocated from town to the village after the sudden demise of our parents. We were 7 little kids in a completely new world, new life and context with our Grandma, one of the most hardworking, resilient and entrepreneurial person I have ever met. Yet for the 15 years we lived together, she struggled always to simply access market for our maize and coffee or efficiently store food between seasons. When I talk about poverty, dignity, lack of economic opportunity in rural communities, post-harvest losses, under nutrition and malnutrition; I didn’t read about it. I experienced it all for over a decade. This experience greatly influenced my perspective on life and my values. After university and brief work in real estate, we committed over $800000 USD from personal savings, friends and family since 2014 to bootstrap Rabboni Group Ltd to solve the challenges.

Where did you hear about the Nestlé Creating Shared Value Prize?

  • Upon recommendation from others

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Photo of Mouhamadou Moustapha Seck

Congratulations for the great idea.

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