The KadAfrica Experience: Creating Shared Value through a Girl-Powered Passion Fruit Value Chain in Western Uganda
An end-to-end, market based solution for out of school girls to become economic drivers of their communities through agribusiness.
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.
KadAfrica Estate Limited
Established (the solution has passed the previous stages and demonstrated success)
Annual budget in 2017 (USD)
Number of beneficiaries impacted so far
Headquarters location: Country
Headquarters location: City
Location(s) of impact
Uganda: Kyenjojo, Fort Portal Municipality, Kamwenge, Kiko, Karambi, Gweeri, Kiburara, Kahangi, Kibasi, Bwanika, Kicwamba
Take a walk with a KadAfrica Experience girl through her journey becoming an agripreneur.
Problem: What problem is this initiative trying to address?
With the world’s youngest population and endemic unemployment, family resources in Uganda are stretched and girls do not get the same opportunities as boys. Less than 50% of girls complete primary school and less than 1% finish secondary school in rural areas; once a girl leaves school she is less able to seek resources. With prevalent teenage pregnancy and the highest HIV/AIDS rate nationwide, there is a vulnerable population of girls in Western Uganda engaging in risky behaviors like sex-work or early marriage.
Solution Summary: What is the proposed solution? What do you see as its most promising aspects for creating shared value?
KadAfrica is a commercial passion fruit farm and socially-driven agribusiness that uses passion fruit farming to empower out of school girls in Western Uganda through a proprietary training program called the KadAfrica Experience. By equipping girls with the land, knowledge, skills and assets to begin their own sustainable passion fruit farms, they become financially literate, entrepreneurial leaders generating income through agribusiness. Girls progress through a fun, integrated 2.5 year program alongside their peers and families, becoming well-equipped to both make and afford responsible decisions for themselves and their children—breaking the poverty cycle and building more prosperous, and equal communities.
KadAfrica purchases 100% of girls’ fruit which we bulk, grade and transport for processing into concentrate fruit pulp. Through our inclusive, girl-powered value chain, KadAfrica is able to produce the highest quality passion fruit product, at a consistent price, year- round.
Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Specify both the social and the environmental impact of your work
To date, over 2,100 girls have participated in the KadAfrica Experience. KadAfrica has created 38 fruit farming cooperatives, facilitating access to 130+ acres of land on which each girl gets an individual plot to generate protected earnings. Beyond gaining skills to cultivate export quality fruit, girls see an income increase from $3-$18/month. On average, a cooperative will save $1000+ within a year of joining our program; girls report that they save 75% more through their savings group and 92% have accessed loans. 96% of girls note they have now set goals for themselves and 100% feel capable of achieving them. Upon graduation girls take ownership over their farms and reinvest in their agribusinesses. 78% of girls continue farming post-graduation, and 40% reestablish secondary farms at home; 62% start businesses outside of agriculture with the knowledge and earnings they have gained. KadAfrica teaches organic farming methods and uses eco-friendly inputs for improved soil conditions.
Financial sustainability plan: How is this initiative financially supported? How will you ensure its financial sustainability long-term?
The KadAfrica Experience program is currently 70% grant funded, and 30% funded through earned revenue from the sale of girls' passion fruit. To complete the passion fruit value chain to ensure continued market and insulate our girls from price volatility, we recently launched a pilot of a container based pulp processing facility. This will allow program sustainability and create a 5x return on investment per girl. Over the next 2 years we will have the market capacity expand our intake from 180 girls per year to 360 and grow our impact to more than 6,000 girls and 24,000 community members in the next decade through our family engagement programming. We forecast that we will reach ~$7 million in sales during this time, while achieving an 18% profit margin and reducing dependence on grants.
Unique value proposition: What makes your initiative innovative? How does your project differ from other organizations working in the same field?
KadAfrica distinguishes itself by engaging adolescent girls as suppliers in our value chain. Where most agriculture programs work with established farmers/landowners, we innovatively address the barrier that land in Uganda is typically owned/inherited by men—furthering gender bias in such programming. Our unique community-based land lease model has allowed us to expand quickly without the overhead costs of purchasing land, while ensuring girl farmers maintain control over the income generated.
Founding story: Share a story about the "Aha!" moment that sparked the beginning of this initiative.
KadAfrica did not start as the social enterprise it is today. In late 2012 we started farming as a hobby and struggled with the staffing on our farm. We quickly learned that women were the most reliable labor source. As we grew our own farm, the women we employed requested we stop paying them their salaries directly—instead requesting we hold it to pay school fees for a child; or that we give them the value of their earnings in food. Why? Because this way they could ensure their salaries went to benefit their families as they wanted and was not taken by a male family member and spent on alcohol or cigarettes. This was our aha moment. We recognized that we can create real household level change for women, girls, and their children by providing them with skills and resources necessary to generate a protected income; and that passion fruit farming provides a viable path to do so.
Where did you hear about the Nestlé Creating Shared Value Prize?
Program Design Clarity: We are hungry to know more about what exactly your model consists of. Succinctly list a) what main activities are you doing with your beneficiaries, b) where you carry out the activities? c) how often? d) for how many hours? e) who delivers the services? and f) any other brief details
The “KadAfrica Experience” is a 2.5-year farming program where girls engage their peers and families. Out of school girls in the Rwenzori Region of Uganda join our program in cohorts of 90, twice a year during the August and February rains. Our Community Engagement Manager leads recruitment alongside church and community leaders—identifying where girls are interested and finding available land. Girls register; they are organized into cooperatives of 30 and provided with a 3-acre plot of land. Simultaneously, a Peer Facilitator is selected from within each group; she enters a month of intensive agriculture, health, and savings curriculum training, and becomes the group's trainer. As girls progress through a fun, technical and integrated curriculum, they receive a farm start-up kit with chemical inputs, tools, 60 seedlings, and an additional 10 for their families. Girls take classes 3-days a week in 2-hour sessions; in addition to a weekly agriculture class, topics include financial literacy, life-skills, gender, reproductive health, and farming; they form savings groups where they learn how lend and borrow. Further, we hold bi-monthly Family Farm Days to engage the community—providing girls with an opportunity to teach agricultural practices they have learned. KadAfrica provides a ready market for 100% of girls' fruit, then bulks, grades, packs, and transports fruit for processing at an approximate 5x value increase—covering program costs and ensuring sustainability.
We are interested in learning more about your initiative's broad impact on sustainable development. Please reply ONLY to the question(s) related to your above focus area.
The KadAfrica Experience represents a bottom-up approach to economic development in rural Uganda—our program is for girls, designed by girls, and intended to empower out of school girls and shift the environment around them. By combining the resources to begin an agribusiness with essential curriculum-based learning, girls are provided with viable agribusiness, as well as the knowledge to save, invest, and make healthy life choices. Through the KadAfrica Experience, girls see direct financial gains and market access as contract farmers in KadAfrica’s vertically integrated passion fruit value chain. Girls become participants in the local economy, gaining status within their communities. Further, by providing families with 10 seedlings to start a home garden, girls become teachers and leaders within their households—and are able to pass along knowledge such as how to recycle water bottles as irrigation for sustainable water management. Our curriculum includes lessons on healthy relationships, decision-making, entrepreneurship through a gender lens—adolescent girls are unique; a tailored curriculum that acknowledges their specific needs, domestic pressures, and financial responsibilities is crucial to spark interest, reduce attrition, and create meaning. Additional life-skills topics include nutrition, personal and reproductive health, hygiene, and advocacy—so that girls can learn how to best care for themselves and advocate for healthy change in their communities.
Creating shared value: How does your initiative create value for different stakeholders?
KadAfrica creates shared value on three levels: individual, community, and the greater economy. Girls benefit in the short term with direct income, access to a peer group, and mentorship; they gain lifelong knowledge through technical agriculture, life-skills, and entrepreneurship training, as well as improved economic prospects by saving and investing in their futures. KadAfrica further extends economic opportunity to girls’ families and local communities; allowing for increased participation in the passion fruit value chain and sensitization on the importance of investing in girls—to foster an enabling environment where they can thrive. Lastly, KadAfrica creates larger economic opportunity for smallholders by processing. Currently, Ugandan juice processors import passion fruit pulp from Asia; by locally fulfilling supply contracts, KadAfrica creates a guaranteed market for farmers to supplement our girl production while displacing foreign imports for reduced environmental footprint.
How is your initiative funded, now and over the next 5 years?
Our farm start-up bundle and curriculum cost us $72 per girl; after the 6-month growth period, we recoup this investment at a rate of $7 per month through the purchase and resale of fruit for processing. While our investment is recovered within 18 months, this does not cover overhead costs, and grant funding covers this gap—hence our pivot into value addition. By processing girls’passion fruit into pulp, we will reach cash flow positive within 18 months and will be able to subsidize the KadAfrica Experience program with profits after 3-years. Our current production generates ~$15k of revenue per month, which will double by the end of 2019 and reach over $500k per year within 5-years—at which point we will no longer require grant funding.
How do you plan to influence your field of work if you are a winner of this edition of the CSV Prize?
Our program provides a certificate at the completion of the curriculum. To enhance this proof of achievement, prize funding will enable us to dovetail our curriculum with a certification from the Directorate of Industrial Training to regionalize/nationalize the impact of our agricultural training program for out of school girls. The issues we address are not unique to rural Western Uganda; this approach would ensure that school-aged girls outside the education system are reintegrated through a vocational training syllabus proven by KadAfrica, now on a national scale. This government-approved certification would galvanize broader acceptance of agriculture’s importance to national development and help revolutionize its role among girl youth.
How will you leverage an investment from Nestle to expand the impact of your work?
This investment will enable us to increase to 12 new sites per year—concurrently reaching 360 girls. This added capacity will produce 360 tons of passion fruit and generate $250,000 yearly as sales revenue for KadAfrica Experience girls. Leveraging on this initial success, we will create economic impact for approximately 6,000 girls in rural Western Uganda who will generate $2.5million of income to be invested into local economies over the coming decade. Additionally, this expanded access to financial and sexual health education will result in healthier, more resilient communities. Benefits will prove intergenerational; girls’ children will be better positioned for economic, educational, and social development through agriculture.
Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact? What’s the projected impact for the coming years? Are you planning to expand your programme into new locations? On what assumptions do you build your scale-up plans?
To achieve scale over the next 5 years, KadAfrica will continue to build our supply chain to sustain processing. This involves: (1) developing additional farming cooperatives within our current operational area, (2) expanding into a new district by September 2018, (3) transitioning our processing pilot into a permanent business line by December 2018, and (4) growing our processing capacity alongside our supply to 15 tons of pulp per month by 2020. By expanding to one additional district and growing our intake capacity, KadAfrica will be able to enroll more than 1,500 girls into the KadAfrica Experience while impacting 6000+ community members through our family engagement programming by 2022. KadAfrica will also invest in Research and Development—additional income generated through the processing of waste product from the pulping facility (such as cosmetic oil pressed from seeds and chicken feed made from unused passion fruit shells) will further our path to sustainability.
Team: What is the current composition of your team (types of roles, number of full-time vs. part-time staff, board members, etc.)? How will this team evolve as your initiative grows?
KadAfrica’s management team has 30+ years experience in gender specific programs and agribusiness in Africa. KadAfrica's founder and CEO is the youngest winner of the African Food Prize for his work empowering out of school girls. Our Managing Director specializes in M&E and utilizes this experience to track results for maximum girl-impact. KadAfrica's Management team is rounded out by a Program Director who oversees the KadAfrica Experience; and an Operations Director who is charged with driving improved sales, collections, and inventory systems. Additionally, we have a multi-sector board that combines backgrounds in social entrepreneurship, finance, and agriculture.
Our 35-person staff include fulltime administrative, sales/collection agents, agronomists, and pulping unit operators.
Awards: What awards or honors has the initiative received?
2017 Grand Challenges Canada Stars in Reproductive Health Grantee, 2015 SPRING Accelerator Grantee, 2015 Yara Prize Winner, 2015 Ashoka and MasterCard Foundation Future Forward Winner, Taleveras Innovation Prize Winner at 2015 Oxford Africa Conference, 2014 SEED Africa Award Winner, 2013 Young Achievers Africa Awards Winner in Agriculture Category.
Organizational leadership: How are you influencing your field of work in the present?
KadAfrica's founder, Eric Kaduru, has been recognized as Uganda’s top 40 under 40 for being a key influencer in the agriculture sector; through social/print media and public speaking Eric works to promote youth entry into agriculture and the integration of women and girls into agriculture value chains. This includes speaking at the Brussels Rural Development Briefings, to working with the Ugandan National Agriculture Advisory Services to distribute passion fruit seedling to women and youth nationwide. Agriculture is an underperforming sector that is ripe with opportunity; Eric and KadAfrica work to encourage youth to take advantage of Uganda’s natural resources as an alternative to risky livelihood options and/or rural to urban migration.
Should you be successful, please confirm your availability to attend the Ashoka Impact Boot camp and Creating Shared Value Prize Live Pitch Event at the World Water Forum 13-16 March 2018
Yes, I am available to attend the events on 13-16 March 2018