Resilient Ecosystems

Selected

NovFeed

A bacteria-based fodder with more protein than traditional feed produced on organic food waste

Team Lead

Diana Orembe

Solution Overview

Solution Name:

NovFeed

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One-line solution summary:

A bacteria based fodder with 30% more protein than traditional animal feed produced on natural organic food waste.

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Pitch your solution.

It is estimated that around 30% of the total annual wild fish catch ends up as ingredients in animal feeds as fish meal or fish oil (FMFO). The growing demand for FMFO for fish feeds for the rapidly growing aquaculture sector will put further pressure on these ecosystems in the decades to come and potentially lead to many more overexploited and depleted fish stocks. Alternatives to FMFO are needed to not exceed the maximum sustainable yield of the FMFO fisheries ecosystems and recover fish stocks to a biologically sustainable level. NovFeed has developed innovative chemical free biotechnology using friendly bacteria to convert organic waste into high quality protein ingredient which has 30% more protein and 30% cheaper than fish meal which is commonly used source of protein in animal feed products.    

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Film your elevator pitch.

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What specific problem are you solving?

Market demand for fish is growing rapidly in Tanzania due to population growth and rising incomes. currently Tanzania have demand deficit of 480,000MT annually. This demand gap presents an economic opportunity to supply the market with locally farmed fish. However, fish farmers face high barriers to capitalising on this opportunity primarily due to the lack of access to reasonably priced, high-quality feed. Feed often accounts for 0.70 percent of a farmer’s costs and it is not uncommon for bagged feeds to be up to 0.30 percent gravel.The farmers suffer from the high cost of production associated with expensive fish feed, and they are unable to cut costs in other areas. As an alternative, many fish farmers formulate their own feed on-site using forage fish in small batches. The use of this type of feed is nutritionally inadequate and causes stunted growth of fish, making the culturing period to grow and sell fish too long.As a result, farmers can lose a significant portion of their potential income from the sale of smaller or inferior fish  to sale. This also perpetuates the gap in affordable farmed fish for consumers to buy, which impacts the health and well-being of lower income Tanzanian households.

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What is your solution?

NovFeed has developed proprietary technology that can utilise food waste to produce bacterial protein–based animal feed ingredients to replace fish and soybean meals, which are commonly used as main sources of protein in feed formulation. By using our unique process, we extract nutrients from food waste and use it to cultivate bacteria which is then processed and dried to produce protein rich ingredients.

Our specially formulated NovFeed's feed input has laboratory confirmed  71% protein content compared to  45% for fish and 43% for soy and significant high production rate relative to other protein sources.

We can harvest NoveX within 48 hours while soy and fish take more than 90 days.Furthermore, bacteria-based protein production presents an excellent pathway for increasing the supply of animal feed from a natural, non- genetically modified source.  NovFeed’s circular economy is an initial step in the right direction of innovative alternative protein ingredients, and waste solutions for Tanzania. If proven successful, it could also be scaled in other countries.

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Who does your solution serve, and in what ways will the solution impact their lives?

Based on our survey to 80 animal feed manufacturer  and 120 fish farmers: 

Lesson learnt : Animal feed manufacturers 

Feed manufactures  need to source high quality ingredient which are consistent in nutritional profile from batch to batch and are in supply to meet the growing demand and increase profit at the same time.

Lesson Learnt : Farmers

In a survey of nearly 120 fish farmers conducted by NovFeed in Tanzania (2019), the problem most frequently mentioned was lack of access to high-quality fish feed, and was listed twice as much as the second-biggest problem (quality fingerlings). Large horizontally integrated fish farmers opt to import feeds from other part of the world and resell the feed at a higher price to small-scale farmers. 

Our beneficiers 

1. Animal feed manufacturer: The key pain point to animal feed manufacturer are the cost of protein ingredients and maintaining quality of feed from batch to batch, due to high cost, price fluctuation and quality inconsistency feed manufacturers are unable to produce at reasonable cost hence there unable to sale feed to farmers at an affordable rate.

2. Farmers:  In Tanzania farmers spend up to 70 per cent of their production budget on feed. 

NovFeed  bring down cost of feed significantly with its all-in-one production system. This bioconversion process is an innovative solution for delivering farmers the rich protein they need through a natural and sustainable process. By offering high protein ingredient, NovFeed encourage climate smart aquaculture throughout the food system. And by reducing the pressure that farmers feel from operating costs, NovFeed helps to bring more sustainably farmed fish to market which encourages more people to enjoy a healthy and balanced diet.

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Which dimension of the Challenge does your solution most closely address?

Create scalable economic opportunities for local communities, including fishing, timber, tourism, and regenerative agriculture, that are aligned with thriving and biodiverse ecosystems
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Explain how the problem you are addressing, the solution you have designed, and the population you are serving align with the Challenge.

Reliance on forage fish also threatens commercial fisheries as larger fish such as cod, salmon, and tuna, eat these small, oily fish (sardines and anchovies) in the wild. These fish also sustain seabirds and marine mammals such as whales, seals, and dolphins. Currently, many forage fish are ground up to feed aquaculture. If the fish at the center of the ocean food chain disappear, so will the life that depends on them. We need solution to provide the industry a sustainable, renewable protein and  the sustainable way to solve this is to use single cell bacteria which NovFeed is proposing.

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In what city, town, or region is your solution team headquartered?

Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
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What is your solution’s stage of development?

Pilot: An organization deploying a tested product, service, or business model in at least one community.
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Explain why you selected this stage of development for your solution.

We have discovered a friendly, well characterized and safe for human consumption bacteria that can convert organic food waste into protein fodder in just 48 hours. So far  

  • We have validated that we can successfully grow the single cell protein
  • We have identified bacteria strains with high protein content and high productivity based on phenotypic characteristics, DNA analysis, and ability to degrade food waste. 
  • We have achieved 71.3% of protein content 
  • We up-cycled 590 kg of food waste into 148kg of protein fodder
  • We have conducted dietary trial in fish and poultry to determine growth rate, digestibility and feed efficiency. Our feed showed higher growth rate of 40% more weight gain than current feed on market and 97% survival rate. Our bacteria-based protein has 30% more protein than available on fish meal and soybean.
  • We have secured 21 prospective customers waitlisted for our feed once we can scale production.


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Who is the Team Lead for your solution?

Diana Orembe

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More About Your Solution

Which of the following categories best describes your solution?

A new application of an existing technology
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What makes your solution innovative?

Our high protein ingredients have been tested extensively across a wide range of species include tilapia and catfish and nutritional value of our protein is higher than super prime fishmeal and soybean. Our feed showed higher growth rate of 40% more weight gain than current feed on market and 97% survival rate. i.e For every $1 spent on NovFeed product yield $3 in fish (based on 1kgs of growth within a growth 6-month period) vs $1 in fish meal or soy meal that would yield $2.1(based on 1kgs of growth within a growth 8-month period). We will continue to invest on R&D to discover other driven ingredients and will significantly reduce the cost of feed to farmers.

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Please select the technologies currently used in your solution:

  • Biomimicry
  • Biotechnology / Bioengineering
  • Manufacturing Technology
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Select the key characteristics of your target population.

  • Women & Girls
  • Rural
  • Peri-Urban
  • Urban
  • Poor
  • Low-Income
  • Middle-Income
  • Minorities & Previously Excluded Populations
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In which countries do you currently operate?

  • Tanzania
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Which of the UN Sustainable Development Goals does your solution address?

  • 2. Zero Hunger
  • 3. Good Health and Well-being
  • 9. Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
  • 11. Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • 12. Responsible Consumption and Production
  • 13. Climate Action
  • 14. Life Below Water
  • 15. Life on Land
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In which countries will you be operating within the next year?

  • Kenya
  • Rwanda
  • Tanzania
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How many people does your solution currently serve? How many will it serve in one year? In five years?

Currently we have two paying customers, We have secured 21 prospective customers in Tanzania with a monthly demand of 10tons to 300 tons each waitlisted for our feed once we can scale production at a larger facility. 

 Within five years, we expect production capacity and our facilities to expand significantly by producing at least 1250 tons per month to meet growing demand. In the first 5 years, we will sell primarily to large scale distributors to focus on optimizing our production capability and to reach the greatest number of small-scale farmers. Through our own surveys, we have determined each fish feed distributors on average serve 55-70 fish farmers. 

After 5 years, we expect to reach 0.10 percent of fish feed distributors in Tanzania with our product given the trend of our ongoing customer acquisition and waitlisting efforts. In this time, we expect our production capacity will need to increase to 15,000 tons per year in order to sell an average of 10 tons per month to our target of 120 large distributors, who will resell to at least 6,000 small scale fish farmers. Once we are financially sustainable, we intend to launch our own distribution sites to reach all unmet demand from small-scale farmers as well.  We anticipate that due to increase in production, consumers will be able to more easily access fish, and based on country-wide trends, this will also contribute to raising per consumption of fish from current 8kg per annum to 15kg per annum.



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How are you measuring your progress toward your impact goals?

In order to achieve our theory of change of increasing income for fish farmers and vendors, and improving the health and wellbeing outcomes for Tanzanians, NovFeed has developed the following metrics to track the performance of our innovation. We will primarily collect data through outcome surveys with key stakeholders, in addition to holding targeted interviews to confirm assumptions about changes to farming yield (volume and quality), production costs, and income. We will also continue to refer to public reports from the Tanzania Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, and Fisheries, as well as the World Bank and other sources cited here, to observe country-wide trends that may be improved through the increase in access to low-cost, high quality fish feed. 

KPI 1: Increase in NovFeed’s production by 1500 to 3000 tons per year.

 KPI 2: 10,000 fish farmers are buying NovFeed’s products by 2026.

 KPI 3: Increase in fish farmer’s income using NovFeed by 40% by 2026 

 KPI 4: Yield increase by 30% per farmer by 2026 

 KPI 5: Reduction in fish farmer’s production cost by 30% by 2026

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About Your Team

What type of organization is your solution team?

For-profit, including B-Corp or similar models

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How many people work on your solution team?

3 full time staff

1 part Time staff

5 contract workers

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How long have you been working on your solution?

2

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How are you and your team well-positioned to deliver this solution?

Our core team consists of three full-time members. Within the team, each of us plays a distinct role in accordance with our respective skill sets and backgrounds. Some of us work on developing our core competency in bacteria-based protein production and processing while others focus on building business connections, marketing, and budgeting. the company key personnel come from microbiology & biotech, bio waste value addition and economics. In addition, we have a vast network of both formal and informal consultants, mentors, and advisors whom we regularly collaborate with on product development.  

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What is your approach to building a diverse, equitable, and inclusive leadership team?

NovFeed’s implementation team includes 3 professional members, including one female co-founder, Miss Diana Orembe. All team members are currently dedicated to NovFeed full-time (100% LOE). The company is committed to achieving gender equity of its management team in the future, the hiring of women for contract labor, and overall equity in the employment of men and women across positions. NovFeed also will employ up to 20 seasonal workers in the project area per day, with salaries planned at 120% of the minimum wages to the lowest paid workers. 

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Your Business Model & Partnerships

Do you primarily provide products or services directly to individuals, to other organizations, or to the government?

Organizations (B2B)
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Partnership & Prize Funding Opportunities

Why are you applying to Solve?

By becoming a Solver will enable me to gain insight on technology, innovation and sustainability and access wealth of knowledge on product development and scalability, access to market and on how to turn my product into immediate customer needs, techniques and best practices of responding to consumer values and needs. Through this our  business would provide unique value to the consumer beyond cost-effectiveness.

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In which of the following areas do you most need partners or support?

  • Human Capital (e.g. sourcing talent, board development, etc.)
  • Financial (e.g. improving accounting practices, pitching to investors)
  • Product / Service Distribution (e.g. expanding client base)
  • Technology (e.g. software or hardware, web development/design, data analysis, etc.)
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Please explain in more detail here.

1. Human Resources: Single cell protein require highly skilled personnel  who are able develop product, discover new derived ingredients and collecting biological metrics, hence there is the need to source talents globally and work with relevant partners to help in recruitment process, but also we will need to open up volunteer program where global students who have the skills, knowledge and passion on biotech to work with us.

2. Financials: In our pathway to scale NovFeed require fund to construct large capacity production unit in order to service  the current untapped market which grow very fast globally.

3. Product distribution: In pathway to scale to reach millions of people NovFeed will need distribution partners across global where the demand of protein ingredients is significant. 

4. Technology: To increase production efficiency and reduce cost the need for high tech is inevitable, based on business we will need to engineer our bacteria in order to improve genetic modifications and  novel production methods using a consortium of microbes.

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What organizations would you like to partner with, and how would you like to partner with them?

1. IndiBio: Strain engineering is another area that we are looking to explore at Indie Bio under the guidance of their pool of scientists.

2. Calysta/FeedKind: Calysta is the world leader in creating sustainable alternative protein for food and feed ingredients by fermenting natural gas with naturally-occurring bacteria.

3. MIT ; Assist on operation efficiency, and on going mentorship

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Do you qualify for and would you like to be considered for The GM Prize? If you select Yes, explain how you are qualified for the prize in the additional question that appears.

No, I do not wish to be considered for this prize, even if the prize funder is specifically interested in my solution

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Do you qualify for and would you like to be considered for the Minderoo Prize to End Global Overfishing? If you select Yes, explain how you are qualified for the prize in the additional question that appears.

Yes, I wish to apply for this prize

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Explain how you are qualified for this prize. How will your team use the Minderoo Prize to End Global Overfishing to advance your solution?

Aqua-feed production still relies on large amounts of wild-caught fish, particularly forage fish such as herring, anchovies and sardines, which are manufactured into a protein base called fishmeal and fish oil. But forage fish play an important role in marine ecosystems by feeding on plankton and transferring energy from the bottom of the food chain to the seabirds, marine mammals and larger fish that feed on them. Without healthy forage-fish populations, marine food webs and habitats could be drastically altered and these organisms are caught using highly destructive commercial fishing practices such as trawling and purse seine fishing, which result in the deaths of whales, dolphins, and turtles as by-catch this practices destroy marine habitat and harm rural fishing communities and other source of protein in feed formulation is soy which causes massive deforestation and at the same time tremendous amount of food is wasted a long  the value chain. NovFeed offer answered to those challenge  by developing proprietary bio-technology in which zero value food waste can be converted into sustainable protein by leveraging the incredible power of single cell bacteria protein meal targeting fish feed producers and farmers. 

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Do you qualify for and would you like to be considered for The AI for Humanity Prize? If you select Yes, explain how you are qualified for the prize in the additional question that appears.

No, I do not wish to be considered for this prize, even if the prize funder is specifically interested in my solution

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Solution Team

 
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