in ,

Farm to Feed’s Agtech Solutions Empower Kenyan Farmers, Combat Food Insecurity


In Kenya, where a staggering 20% to 40% of total food production is lost, Farm to Feed, an innovative agtech startup, is emerging as a game-changer in the battle against food insecurity. The company is bridging the market gap for small-scale farmers, who contribute a whopping 75% of the country’s agricultural output, by aggregating and selling their farm produce – including imperfect crops that are often rejected by distributors due to cosmetic specifications.

Claire Van Enk, the CEO of Farm to Feed, co-founded the startup in 2021 with Anouk Boertien and Zara Benosa, pivoting from a non-profit program that provided food aid during the COVID-19 lockdown. During this time, Van Enk witnessed firsthand the daunting market access challenges faced by farmers, propelling the launch of Farm to Feed.

“I saw firsthand what farmers were not selling even when markets returned, and it is a huge devastation not only on food security, but on the economy too,” Van Enk explained, shedding light on the climate change implications of food loss and waste, as rotting foodstuff produces methane, a greenhouse gas more potent than carbon dioxide.

Farm to Feed’s innovative model utilizes a network of aggregators to collect produce from small- and large-scale farmers across Kenya’s key farming regions. The startup’s teams then meticulously sort, grade, and dispatch the products to clients from their warehouse in Nairobi. To ensure efficient logistics, Farm to Feed currently leases trucks but plans to acquire sustainable cooling solutions, thanks to a grant funding from IFC TechEmerge.

The startup has raised an impressive $1 million in equity and grant funding from various venture capitalists, angel investors, and institutions, including the Catalyst Fund, Renew Capital, Bayer Foundation, Mercy Corps AgriFin, IFC TechEmerge, DEG develoPPP, RAIN Challenge, and the GSMA Innovation Fund.

Farm to Feed operates multiple sales channels to reach its diverse customer base, including sales representatives, a web app, and soon, a WhatsApp chatbot for customers preferring social commerce.

Other agtech innovators like Ghanaian Farmerline and Complete Farmer are also addressing the market linkage challenges faced by farmers in sub-Saharan Africa, where the agricultural sector contributes about 23% of the GDP, and a staggering 60% of the population are smallholder farmers.

Beyond its e-commerce platform, Farm to Feed is building a data platform by collecting granular data, including climate information and drivers of food loss, to improve farming outcomes and create a more circular food system. Van Enk explained that by grading the food and leveraging the data platform, they aim to identify reasons behind produce disfiguration and partner with entities that provide quality seeds or offer targeted training on best harvesting techniques.

The startup is also exploring new revenue streams through a value-addition pilot and plans to tap into the carbon market by quantifying emission reductions from reducing food loss and waste, potentially earning carbon offset credits.

“When you do more value addition, there’s a real opportunity to do margin expansion. I do think that food loss is such a huge impact opportunity and also a very good commercial opportunity,” Van Enk said. “I really believe there’s so much we can do with odd-looking produce and really create value for the farmer but also for the future of Farm to Feed.”

With its innovative approach, Farm to Feed is not only tackling food insecurity but also championing sustainable agriculture, climate action, and economic empowerment for smallholder farmers in Kenya and beyond.



What do you think?

0 points
Upvote Downvote

Total votes: 0

Upvotes: 0

Upvotes percentage: 0.000000%

Downvotes: 0

Downvotes percentage: 0.000000%

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Meta to Empower Nigerian Content Creators with Monetization Features

Telecom Egypt collaborates with India’s Tejas to enhance local skills.I