Below is a breakdown of the money that we are seeking for our intended plant. We have also created this campaign to recruit collaborators to help us install this plant.
Our goal is to develop a plant that will create markets for poor farmers in our region, by placing our produce at various levels of the agro-value chain: bottling companies and breweries; biscuit makers and yogurt producers; bakeries and confectioneries; supermarkets and grocery stores; paperboard industries and pharmaceuticals, etc.
Rural poor smallholder farmers will directly benefit from free inputs (i.e. seed and agronomic training) that the UCF provides to all the participating farmers at no cost to them, in addition to high prices for their produce, and a ready market at harvest.
Technical assistance on installing the whole plant; building market linkages, and advice on crop agronomics (i.e. species selection and maintenance practices of specific crops for particular purposes) will come from TechoServe, SolarLabSU.com, Partners in Food Solutions, AfrII.org, Natural Resources Institute (UK), plus local breweries and local agronomists.
The UCF is a nonprofit social enterprise, and all the support that we provide to our fellow poor farmers (whether it’s seed, fertilizers or training) is at no charge. This is because we typically work with very impoverished rural smallholder farmers who can’t get started on their own. Once installed, our plant will give us the capacity to support many other poor farmers across a wider geographical area, in a self-sustaining way.
Below is what the $7m that we are seeking will pay for. Please note that, at the implementation stage, we will install everything under consultation. There are items here that will be replaced, and many that are not here but which will be essential:
1). Farmer Support:
Provision of seed and agronomic training to rural poor farmers: $300,000 for 3 years. This is intended to increase the scope of production; introduce better crop varieties (e.g. the right sorghum and cassava species for beer production, and the ideal fruit varieties for juice production), and to ensure that even the poorest farmers who have no inputs can participate equally, this time with a ready market for their produce.
2). Component #1:
a). Eight greenhouse-type solar food dryers, each measuring 2,615 square feet (or 9mx27m). These food dryers will be constructed with materials wholly imported from the Germany company ‘Covestro’, and will be installed by Covestro’s implementing technical team (SolarLabSU.com), who are based at Silpakorn University. Cost per dryer (including shipping of materials & labor) is $74,000. Total cost for 8 dryers: $592,000.
b). A solar powered borehole, and plumbing installations, to supply running water. A manual borehole is already in place at our project, the UCF, but needs modification to provide running water: $9,000
c). A new building for housing our cassava milling machine, processed food and other equipment (plus renovation of the UCF’s already existing storehouse): $27,000
d). An open building where fresh cassava is peeled: $4,000.
e). A 625 sq ft concrete water tank where peeled cassava is soaked overnight (i.e. for hydrolysis) to convert cyanogenic glucosides into cyanide (in bitter varieties): $6,000
f). A boiling system to reduce cyanide content in peeled cassava: $10,000
g). Concrete bricks on the floor of our processing yard (to enhance hygiene): $9,000
h). A 300 ft x 400 ft enclosure around our processing plant for security: $9,000
i). Cassava slicers/chippers — to supplement human labor: $8,000
j). A cassava milling machine: $20,000
k). Industrial weighing scale; packaging utilities, and other accessories: $6,000.
3). Component #2:
A facility that turns fresh fruits into intermediate products (purees and concentrates) for the food industry: $6m. As indicated on this Wikipedia page, a new fruit plant similar to the one that we want to install was recently established in the far north eastern part of Uganda, in a region called “Soroti” — at a total cost of $13.4m.
This means, with $6m, our own fruit plant, if installed, will only be half the size of the plant in Soroti, and will be the very first such plant in our region. Specifically, our own plant will have an hourly capacity of turning 2-3 tons of fruit into purees/concentrates.
Total cost (for 1, 2 and 3 above): $7m
Nonetheless, for component #2 alone, if we can raise a little more support (above $6m), to enable us install a more superior facility that can do 6 – 8 tons/hour instead of 2-3 tons/hour, this would bring our work to a standard that qualifies us to supply our products (purees/concentrates) to more reputable buyers like Coca Cola.
If not, we will definitely work with $6m on #2, if that’s what we can raise.