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 reverse poverty and create jobs 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.
Individual rural smallholder farmers will directly benefit from high prices for their produce, and a ready market at harvest, in addition to free inputs (seed, agronomic training and other extension services) that the UCF provides to all the farmers we work with. Installing this plant will also give us the capacity to work with an unlimited number of poor farmers across a wider geographical area, in a self-sustaining way.
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, Natural Resources Institute (UK), local breweries & local agronomists.
1). Farmer Support:
Provision of seed and agronomic training to rural poor farmers: $100,000 for 3 years. This is intended to increase the scope of production; disseminate 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 — Solar Food Processing: $0.4m
a). Four 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 $72,500. Total cost for 4 dryers: $290,000.
A single solar food dryer similar to the ones we need was installed at a Ugandan University in 2017 for $100,000. See here. That’s, $72,500 is the least we can get.
b). An electric powered borehole, and plumbing installations, to supply running water. A manual borehole is already in place at 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): $29,000
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.
l). Miscellaneous: these could be accessories to help us make the ideal “High Quality Cassava Flour” or tapioca for beer, bakery, pasta and other uses, which we will know from the Natural Resources Institute (UK) and AfrII.org at the implementation stage.
3). Component #2 — Fruit Processing Facility: $6.5m
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” — for $13.4m. That means, with $6.5m, 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. Ours will have an hourly capacity of processing 2-3 tons of fresh fruit.
Total cost (for 1, 2 and 3 above): $7m
Nonetheless, for component #2 alone, if we can raise a little more support (above $6.5m), to enable us install a more superior facility that can do 6 – 8 tons per 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.
In that case, we would need a total of $15m (i.e. $0.4m for solar food processing; $14.5m for a fruit processing facility, and $100,000 for farmer support). If that is not possible, we will definitely work with $7m in total, if it’s what we are able to raise.