This morning, I was reading a blog post entitled: ‘Agriculture, the most healthiest, innovative and noblest profession’. In Africa, there are competent and multicultural teams and people who, unfortunately, are not concerned by global issues.
We have to be ready to feed around nine billion people in 2030. And despite the fact that international fora, NGOs, and organizations try to emphasize that, we first have to develop individual and community interests at a small scale. That is the principal objective of our project
Who is the project coordinator?
I’m Flavien Kouatcha Simo, 26, an engineer by training and amazingly passionate about agriculture. I’m the second-last born in a modest family of two girls and three boys. My father is an accountant and my Mum, a housewife.
I grew up in a rural area in the west region of Cameroon called Bandjoun. And then I moved to Douala, the economic capital, to attend secondary school. Back in Bandjoun, my parents were running a small poultry farm, selling rabbits, chickens, and eggs.
My family was the main supplier of the town, and neighboring villages. Even though, they didn’t really have skills to develop their activity up to large scale.
When I graduated from high school, I decided to become an engineer and an active citizen for my community in order to impact people’s life and develop my interpersonal skills. It all started when I quit the job I had been doing for four years to become an agripreneur and completely devote myself to Save Our Agriculture.
About Save Our Agriculture
Save Our Agriculture is a startup based in Douala, the aim of which is to implement a more developed poultry farm for communities. And, recently, we started designing aquaponics kits and delivering training sessions to communities.
We want people to know that being healthy is the starting point of everything they want to achieve in their lives. Our principal objective is to create a modern ‘Made In Cameroon’. This will be realized by attracting potential stakeholders to join us, and by strengthening this concept through presentations, forums, and workshops.
About the process
Question: Did you know that it’s possible to produce the equivalent of four hectares of harvest in a 20-foot container?
This is what I find exciting about agriculture: one must not only produce, but also optimize. And with the help of the specific aquaponics kits we are designing, we’ll be mixing vertical and urban agriculture.
This system has two advantages: it can produce the food of our choice with no chemicals, since only excrement from fish placed in a growth container serve as natural fertilizer. This concept is just so efficient because it provides a three to four times better performance than traditional agriculture.
To do so, we install a fish tank and several plant home bases, which are placed in a closed system that lets circulate the same water with a submersible pump in the first tray. We make the space above the container through the principle of greenhouse and in-house facilities enable us to optimize the positioning and therefore production in the reduced space.
With this funding that we’re looking for, we will buy submersible pumps, manufacture glazed fish trays, wooden panelling, seeds, fish and their food, and handle logistics of the activity.
With the sum of CFA 2,785,000 or USD 4611.51, we will carry out the first phase of the project which will last 16 weeks, to allow our community to eat better quality food.
The kits being sold at CFA 120,000 or USD197.04 per unit to individuals, hoteliers, and restaurants owners. We already have eight interested customers.
With the total cost price of CFA 3,000,000 of USD 4,926, 11 for 25 individual kits, we will start the installation of the first community unit in a 20-foot container.
Another point: the quality of fish, which is the second-most imported product in Cameroon (about CFA 100 billion or USD 164 million annually), is not always appreciated. Therefore, our project has many advantages:
- Allow citizens to understand and participate in the food production process
- Maintain the health of consumers by not using chemicals
- Reduce global hunger in our community by improving production (fish and plants)
- Save 80% to 90% of water compared to previously used for traditional agriculture methods
- Food losses and waste is minimized as a result of the awareness created in farmers
- Employment of three full-time people for operations of the business
- Reduce logistics requirements through the implementation of production units in both urban and rural areas. (This last objective is close to my heart, as my first farming experience as an entrepreneur took place in 2013 in my native village. I spent close to CFA 2,000,000 CFA (USD 3284.07) to produce chillim but I have not even been able to carry 50% due to the bad road and the lack of financial resources to pay the only drivers who agreed to use their cars on this road
We already want to thank everyone for making this project a reality. We want to participate in the modernization of agriculture in Cameroon, Africa, and the world. And this is only possible with your help.
Blogpost and picture submitted by Flavien Kouatcha Simo (Cameroon): flavien[at]saveouragriculture.com
The content, structure and grammar are at the discretion of the author only.
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