Fund for African Rural Innovation Promotion

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Metal silos hold grains for advance payments


Status of Crowdfunding on 18. July 2017
Via crowdfunding platform 100-days: 8’155 CHF
Via direct payments to FARIP account: 6'250 CHF
Total: 14'405 CHF = 28 containers

The pilot with the GPLP project has been been an astonishing success. Farmers earned a lot, TBM earned its commissions and buyers got what they wanted. There is a high demand for more containers and farmers are willing to pay for them in installments. See the detailied report on the pilot here. Proof of technical, operational and economic proof of concept are now achieved. Bahat Tweve now wants to continue in Msowero village with his company TBM on entirely commercial terms with farmers.
   We are now challenged to achieve the proof of scaling up concept so that TBM can make this a business. We can make a first business plan to upscale the number of grain containers in Msowero from 20 to 200. Our calculations show that is the number required for TBM to break even with all its operational costs in any one location. Our sensitivity analysis with the figures from the pilot and realistic assumptions on pricing suggest this can work, with reasonable margins to even accomodate some unknown risks.
   We have launched a crowd-funding effort to raise money for this venture. For each 500 USD we can make sure a container can be placed in a household on a 2-year lease (200 USD), plus the COB advance paid for filling the container (another 200 USD), plus the technical assistance by farip paid for helping TBM through this business start-up (100 USD). 400 USD will be recovered and loaned out again to TBM for further increasing the number of containers. Whatever funding we can raise we will immediately forward to TBM in order to start production of containers. The next harvest of maize begins in June 2017!!.

Short description of venture

Farmers have the opportunity to rent small metal containers for storing their grains. This enables them to sell the grains later when the prices have risen. However, farmers need cash at harvest time. Therefore the containers on lease are combined with a service of a) advance payments where the checked and locked grains act as the security, and b) assistance in marketing the grains in good markets when prices are higher through the "Transaction Security Services" of the Tanzanian company Biashara Mapema. Farmers therefore only have to think of a fixed fee for using the container in order to get an advance payment when harvesting, and the rest when selling later. This  was the first pilot to go through the mechanisms of a full cycle of storing and sales after a few months.

Status of financing

USD committed

USD not yet raised

1. Full cycle of storing and sales with 20 containers in Msowero village


2.   Add another 50 containers 



Download research paper:
“Metal silo grain storage technology and household food security in Kenya”,
Zachary Gitonga, Hugo De Groote and Tadele Tefera, May 2015

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