2022 Solv[ED] Youth Innovation Challenge


Tripple P

Managing food waste using insect technology to provide affordable and eco-friendly animal feed and fertilizer

Team Lead

Gloria Cherono

Solution Overview

Solution Name

Tripple P

One-line solution summary.

We manage food waste using insect technology to provide affordable and eco-friendly animal feed and fertilizer.

Elevator pitch

What is your solution?

We upcycle food waste streams using insect technology to make affordable and eco-friendly animal feed and fertilizer. This process reduces the amount of food waste that ends up in landfills and hence the production of methane gas in the atmosphere by 47%. The larvae are nutritious protein sources with a crude protein level of between 40 and 50%, depending on the substrate fed. This is a great substitute for soy beans and fish meal as it takes less land to produce than soybeans, thus freeing land for the cultivation of crops for human consumption instead of animals. It also reduces pressure on marine life, as indicated by overfishing in the water bodies across the globe. The reason for the high cost of animal feed is the high cost of protein. By providing a sustainable, affordable, and eco-friendly alternative, we will provide a low-cost alternative to animal feed.

What specific problem are you trying to solve?

Farm inputs 

  • We will be providing a highly nutritious animal feed, and  bio-fertilizer that is locally sourced. This creates reliability of supply as farmers whose inputs are largely imported experienced disruption in supply during the COVID-19 pandemic when countries closed their borders and the cost of farm inputs skyrocketed to an all-time high. Our products are 20% more affordable compared to market alternatives as the high cost of inputs is a major challenge to most farmers. From market research we found that farmers spend 70-80% of their revenue in the purchase of animal feed. 

Waste management

  • Food producing companies have food residues from production that need to be managed.  These companies use waste management companies that dispose of this residue in landfills. Food waste in landfills produces methane and is the third largest emitter of greenhouse gasses globally.  However by managing the waste through our process we upcycle the residue into fertilizer and obtain animal feed through the process. Therefore, re-introducing the inputs back into the ecosystem, ensuring circular flow and sustainable use of resources. The process also reduces methane emissions by up to 47%.

    Pressure on marine life
  • There is overfishing in water bodies across the globe to obtain fish meal to be used in the manufacturing of animal feed. Our product has an Omega 3 profile similar to that in fish meal and is a suitable substitute.

Who does your solution serve? In what ways will the solution impact their lives?

Our solution serves farmers, both animal and crop farmers, by providing them with an affordable, sustainable, and locally sourced alternative to the contemporary inputs on the market. It also serves food companies because we help them manage waste and increase their sustainability profile.

Ways the solution impacts their lives

  • Affordable inputs

The high cost of inputs is mainly due to the high cost of protein sources in the feed, especially fish meal. By substituting it with a low-cost but higher protein-composition alternative, the cost of feed will be relatively affordable compared to contemporary animal feed on the market.

  • Eco-friendly inputs 

African soil has declined in productivity and this is due to the inorganic inputs used on the soil, such as fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides. They kill the helpful bacteria in the soils, and thus the soils are heavily reliant on inorganic farm inputs. We intend to rehabilitate the soil by introducing fertilizer rich in nitrogen, ammonium nitrate, ash and microbes that are good for oil health, thus improving yields. Research conducted shows that cabbage grown using our fertilizer weighs three times more than the one grown on contemporary soil.

  • High nutrient inputs

Our product has a crude protein level of between 40 and 50% depending on substrate fed. It is a whole meal on its own for animals such as fish and has an Omega 3 profile similar to that of fishmeal. Our fertilizer contains nitrogen, ammonium nitrate, ash, and microbes that are useful for soil health and productivity.

What steps have you taken to understand the needs of the population you want to serve?

We have conducted market research across five counties, Nakuru, Kericho, Nairobi, Nyanyuki and Kitui. This research helped us identify customer pain points and helped refine our value proposition in the gains we can provide. Through this research we found that high cost of inputs is a major challenge as farmers spend 70-80% of their revenue in the purchase of animal feed. 

We also found that supply chain disruption as a result of the pandemic prevented the farmers from accessing key inputs they needed for production and therefore reduced their yield from production. 

Met with the Kenya Farmers Association to find out which inputs farmers prefer and why. We found that their is an unmet need of organic animal feed and bio-fertilizer.  This also helped us discuss the possibility of establishing a distribution channel with the association once our products are ready. 

We have also visited two large scale food manufactures and discussed their waste management strategy and it helped us identify the inefficiencies in the collection and management of the food waste especially since it is dumped in landfills. We also visited an upcycling plant where they walked us through their process from collection to composing of the waste. This helped us gain a new understanding on the logistics process and the short comings of composting, such as the high emissions and the fact that composting takes almost four months to compost while our process takes 10 days.

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

Taking action to combat climate change and its impacts (Sustainability)

Our solution's stage of development:

Pilot: An organization deploying a tested product, service, or business model in at least one community

Explain why you selected this stage of development for your solution—in other words, what have you accomplished to date?

We have had two successful prototypes, one at our operations base in Kericho and the other one at DTU in collaboration with Foodlab Skylab. We have received capital in the form of capacity building from various organizations, including Sinapis, Yusudi Co, and DTU. 

We had several researchers and scientists attached to our projects, and we learnt a lot, including fermentation, running lean operations, and the whole process of design and innovation. We have also conducted extensive market research in five counties in Kenya, namely Nakuru, Kericho, Kisumu, Lakipia, and Kitui, and were able to identify the challenges that farmers had and assess their willingness to buy our product. 

We have also completed the construction of the minimum viable facility that we are going to use for pilot production and are now starting the pilot.

Where our solution team is headquartered or located:

Kericho, Kenya

Team Lead:

Gloria Cherono

More About Your Solution

Which of the following categories best describes your solution?

A new use of an existing technology (e.g. application to a new problem or in a new location)

Describe the core technology that powers your solution.

 We also are leveraging traditional, natural technology to combat food waste and provide affordable, ecofriendly inputs to farmers. We collect waste from food companies, treat it to eliminate physical, chemical, and biological hazards, and then introduce the waste to the insects who then feed on the waste, breaking it down into bio fertilizer that is rich in ammonium nitrate, potassium, and ash. The insects are collected, dried and processed into animal feed. They are an alternative source of protein that is sustainable. It has a crude protein level of 40–50% depending on the substrate fed. It also has an omega-3 profile similar to that of fish meal. The production process reduces greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere by 47%. The process ensures efficient production and consumption while advancing life on land, life under water and climate action.

Please select the technologies currently used in your solution:

  • Ancestral Technology & Practices

In which countries do you currently operate?

  • Kenya

How many people does your solution currently serve, and how many do you plan to serve in the next year? If you haven’t yet launched your solution, tell us how many people you plan to serve in the next year.

With our current production capacity, we can produce 2 T of feed every two weeks. If packaged into 50kg bags, this is 80 bags in a month, translating into 960 bags in a year. Assuming all bags are sold, we can reach almost 1,000 customers in the first year and hope to expand.

What are your impact goals for the next year, and how will you achieve them?

  • We hope to upcycle 11 tons of waste every two weeks. This waste will be sourced from two food producing companies and fed to the larvae, which are ravenous scavengers. We hope to produce 2 tons of feed from each batch and 5 tons of residue fertilizer. 

  • We also hope to keep emission reductions lower by 47% as compared to ordinary composting. This will be done by the larvae as they feed on the food and by the fact that they turn the food side streams into residue in one week as compared to 3 to 4 months when composting. 

  • We hope to reach 100 farmers and, therefore, impact 100 households. This will be through the network of farmers we met during market research. We have already met with the Kenya Farmers Association, which we have already met with several farming cooperatives, such as the Kenya Organic Farmers Association.

How are you measuring your progress or planning to measure your progress toward your impact goals?

  • Tracking the amount of waste we collect We hope to do this by measuring the waste we collect once it is received at the facility. This will help us track the amount of waste we successfully upcycle.

  • Tracking our emissions during production. We hope to do this by measuring the CO2 levels in the greenhouse where the larvae are housed and feeding on the food side stream. This helps us stay in line with our goal of climate action and sustainable production and consumption. 

  • Keeping track of how much product we produce and sell to customers. This helps us know how many upcycled products we have produced and how many households our products have reached and are now being used to produce food. This is to keep us in line with our goal of zero hunger. 

  • tracking the improvement in farmers' yield as a result of using our product. This will help us better understand our customer experience and let us know how well our product will serve our customers and what needs improvement.

What barriers currently exist for you to accomplish your goals in the next year?

  • Financial We have gathered funds and constructed the facility site. We are, however, struggling to purchase production equipment and pay for personnel to aid the production process. 

  • Logistics The cost of transporting the side streams is high. This makes it difficult to transport the inputs that are needed for production.

  • Labor intensive Loading and unloading the food side streams is labor-intensive and time-consuming. We hope to automate the process through a conveyor belt connecting the unloading section to the fermentation tank where the side streams will be stored and later directed into the feeding trays where the larvae will feed on them.

About Your Team

How many people work on your solution team?

We have two co-founders: Gloria Cherono, team lead, and Harriet Anyango, Head of Operations.

How long have you been working on your solution?

One year. In that time we have developed two prototypes one in partnership the the World Food Programme, East Africa Bureau..

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

We, as a team, have diverse skills ranging from Gloria, the team lead, has a background in economics and finance. She therefore handles strategy and planning along with the financial aspect. She also founded an impact project at the university, Model UN, for students to discuss world solutions and come up with solution papers in a bid to train in problem solving, diplomacy and create awareness of the UN SDGs.

Harriet, head of operations, has a background in economics and statistics and handles operations and market research. They are both passionate about social impact and have previously run other impact projects in their community, known as New Generation Mentors. Where they mentored over 7000 high school students and were part of the Millennium fellowship brought by the Millennium Campus Network and the United Nations academic impact, where Harriet served as a Campus Director and Gloria volunteered in the office of the CEO of the Millennium Fellowship, Sam Vaghar.

Kajesan, automation, has a background in engineering. We are also recruiting for someone in microbiology and agriculture. 

We also have advisors: Jeremie Pige, Head of Innovation Lab, World Food Programme East and Central Africa Bureau; John Sørensen.

Our team is diverse, with over 3 different nationalities, this encourages collaboration and improves our exchange of ideas. 

What organizations do you currently partner with, if any? How are you working with them?

  • The World Food Programme and the Danish Technical University, DTU, Through this collaborative partnership, we have been supported throughout the development of our prototype. This has included meeting with insect experts, consultants, and business developers from March 2021 to help guide and refine our prototype. 

  • The International Center for Insect Physiology and Entomology has also provided us with training on insect rearing and maintenance and larvae to start the colony. This helped us set the stage for our first prototype, which helped us complete our proof of concept.

Your Business Model & Resources

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


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


If you selected Yes, explain how you are qualified for this prize. How will your team use The Pozen Social Innovation Prize to advance your solution?

The prize is for solutions that improve the quality of life of women and girls and our target market, farmers, are majorly women. In Kenya 80% of farmers are women as reported by the World Bank. 

We are offering these farmers an affordable and eco-friendly product, that improves their yield and is sustainably produced in a production process that reduces carbon emissions from their inputs. 

Solution Team

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