Projects finally selected for the Resilience Innovation Challenge (RIC) Round 1 Resilience Innovation Challenge 4 Adverse Climate Effects (RIC4ACE) support in the Eastern Africa RILab
Following the final judging session, 7 promising ideas with the highest potential for social impact if scaled, sound technical plausibility and innovativeness were selected as follows:
1. KUNGULA! Thresh It: A low cost technology for mechanized threshing of maize. The technology will improve post-harvest handling of produce in rural low income settings through substantial increase in output efficiency and substantial reduction in losses, contamination and excessive physical exertion that rural farmers (mostly women) experience with manual threshing and winnowing.
2. RAPID (Rapid Agricultural Produce Indirect Dryer): An improved solar drying technology that will change current farmer reliance on direct sun-light for drying of produce in rural low income settings. The technology will make agricultural produce drying more efficient for different types of produce, reducing losses, aflatoxin contamination and drag.
3. Mushrooming Livelihoods: Developing alternatives to the existing media for cultivation of mushrooms, making mushroom cultivation widely accessible. Easy access to mushroom growing will expand the potential for diversification to this high value crop among organic farmers in rural Africa. It will also provide a platform for changing practices regarding farming on small holdings.
4. B2K! Back to traditional starch: This project uses novel recipes and aesthetics to rebrand millet and other waning traditional starches like sorgum, sweet potatoes, cassava and yams as attractive, tasty, healthier and more resilient alternatives to maize and rice which are swallowing up the consumption space for carbohydrate across the region and the world over. The key to unlocking the potential of these alternative starches is in finding the optimum taste and mixtures that will spur urban and peri-urban households to bring them back to their diner table as staple foods.
5. EDAD (Electronic Dollar a Day – Saving Box): In the context of a very poor saving culture and high financial insecurity among rural subsistence farmers in Eastern Africa, this innovation taps into the rising access to mobile phones to create an electronic platform that will disrupt current approaches to saving by bringing the savings bank teller service to the mobile phone. The platform will make it very easy for rural households to make targeted savings for household level development and risk mitigation.
6. Village Egg Bank in Egg Currency (VEBEC): This innovation introduces a new and disruptive form of currency that can be channelled into savings through regular deposits of eggs to an egg bank by the rural farmers. In this case, the egg becomes a currency, bridging the lack of cash among rural farmers. The model can be replicated for other farm and off-farm products as an incentive-driven way of produce bulking for market leverage among very small holder farmers. A few household chickens turn into a potential income earner and currency generator for rural households.
7. Better Farming Better Me! An approach aimed at weaning households from tobacco-dependent mono-cropping to mixed food crop and poultry farming as a more fulfilling alternative that leads to better livelihoods and food security. The approach can be replicated in other communities that are trapped in mono-crop systems.