Agricultural producers are gravely affected by the changes in climate, mainly in form of extreme weather conditions such as floods, drought, increase in average temperatures and soil erosion resulting in decreased soil fertility which is consequently leading to decreased production.
As companies demand high quality of produce to fulfil the set guidelines and meet the consumer preferences, produce that do not meet the threshold remain unused. This is leading to food losses and reduced revenue for farmers. The unpredictable climatic conditions and poor farming practices results to a reduction of yield and unpredictable supply of the produce. Additionally, inappropriate technologies, limited institutional support and inadequate facilities for handling, packing, processing and preservation of fresh produce lead to substantial food waste.
During harvesting period, the supply may surpass the processing capabilities and satellite hubs must reject further product from the farmers due to missing storage facilities. Moreover, parts of the produce get spoiled during the transportation from the farmers to the processing sites due to insufficient cooling and pre-treatment, poor road infrastructure which are either damaged or non-existent making the farms and markets inaccessible. The seasonality of the farm produce means that the factories are left idle during the season when there is no produce to be processed.
With a vision of multiply and feed the world, Miyonga empowers smallholder farmers in reducing post-harvest waste and losses while providing wholesome products that meet international standards for export and local consumption. Additionally, it uses innovative agro-processing technology to add value to horticultural products that did not meet the initial export regulations by processing the rejected fruit through drying and pulverization of the produce which is then packed as a dried fruit or as an all-purpose powdered fruit. Miyonga’s innovation aims to decrease food waste which will in turn increase the revenue for smallholders. This also leads to a prolongation of shelf-life of the initially simple, unprocessed food. It also ensures an all year round operation addressing the challenges caused by the seasonality of fruits while creating employment in rural Kenya. The introduction of a mobile dryer also mitigates the revenues lost from having idle factories and reducing the transportation costs as the fruits and vegetables are processed at the farm gate level. The overall project objective is to support the climate resilience of Kenyan farmers and to pilot climate-smart technologies for food processing.
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