Our solution:

Fresh Direct Nigeria (Fresh Direct Produce and Agro-Allied Services) is “City Farming” using stackable container farms! Fresh DirectNigeria brings fresh premium organic produce closer to market with our Container Farm Technology.

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Our pitch:

We are making agriculture hyper local and exciting for youth, lowering the risk to do it year round regardless of location, with little to no Land… no SOIL, cutting out long transportation times with the use of a simple technology.

Fresh Direct is solving the problems typically seen in traditional farming using our Container farms. Using hydroponics and vertical farming within a shipping container, our Container Farms are able to grow directly in urban areas. This means that production is brought closer to market or AT market with ease. 

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The problem:

What if Africa no longer needed to import most of its food products, agricultural value chains were strengthened, profitable and eco-friendly and indigenous technologies were commonplace in farming?

In urban African cities, it’s sometimes difficult to get fresh veggies consistently or to know its coming from a safe reliable source leading to mass importation. We need efficient local farmers. But what if we could make agriculture exciting for youth, lower the risk to do it year round regardless of location, with little to no Land… no SOIL, cutting out long transportation times with the use of a simple technology? 

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Why our solution will solve the problem:

Our market survey of restaurants, hotels and supermarkets, 30% stated that they import produce, the rest buy from supermarkets that import or don’t use things they cannot get on the menu but would like to. All stated that foreign exchange is a big issue for them solely because of the difficulty to access. Additionally, through developing a prototype and using it to produce, while also engaging in ground planting, we  were able to compare yield, duration, water use, and input use. We found that we used 10x less water, 10x less land and still had 15x higher yield

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Our solution's stage of development:

Pilot

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Target Outcomes

Our target outcomes:

The goal for us is to employ young urban unemployed youth in agriculture and also bring youth onboard as independent urban farmers who own their own container farm. We want to reduce the barrier of entry into agriculture for them, raise their basic standard of living, dignity in labor and learning capacity through our urban farmers program. We want to also improve how agriculture is done by increasing yield 15 fold, reduce need for land, water and electricity. We provide the land, water, electricity, inputs, mentorship, training. They farm with their containers and we buy everything, providing market

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How we will measure our progress:

  • Outcome: 1000 urban farmers
    Measurement Plan: number of urban farmers on our campus
  • Outcome: improved quality of life
    Measurement Plan: measure their demographic characteristics before starting our program including income, purchase patterns, subjective questions on life, and measure after 6 months
  • Outcome: improved agricultural practices
    Measurement Plan: measure water use, yield per hectare, energy consumption, carbon footprint, pre and post harvest loss, revenue compared to traditional farming averages in Nigeria
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The populations we will benefit initially:

  • Adult
  • Low-income economies (< $1005 GNI)
  • Secondary
  • Female
  • Urban
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The regions we will benefit initially:

  • Sub-Saharan Africa
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The countries we will benefit initially:

  • Ghana
  • Ivory Coast
  • Nigeria
  • Senegal
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Technology

The technologies we employ:

  • Agricultural technology
  • Management & design approaches
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Why our solution is unique:

Imported produce-ours are local and organic with lower carbon footprint because of the conservation of fuel that would be expended in air transportation (jet fuel) and ground transportation (petrol/gas) plus the high cost of such greens. Many of the imported crops are mild and cold weather crops and difficult to grow in Nigeria but our technology can grow them.

Local Farming- We grow more variety of leafy green produce on less land, using less water therefore preventing deforestation, conserving water, reducing greenhouse emissions. We grow in city reducing transport routes post harvest loss, cold storage issues, and seasonality. 

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Why our solution is human-centered:

Based on our own data so far, each container is able to repay itself within 6mo-1yr. This means its affordable to an unemployed urban youth without having land as collateral. The security of market will make banks more eager to engage in agricultural lending. Each of our facility will be able to maintain 100 youth for just production, plus 30 youth for logistics. This can be done throughout the city to absorb 1000 youth in Abuja, 2000 in Lagos, 500 in Port Harcourt and even other countries such as Ghana, Kenya, etc.

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How people will access our solution:

For those who want to farm these greens in Nigeria, importing foreign technologies is expensive. Comparing similar products available in USA/UK, the minimum price is $100,000 without assistance of financing or guaranteed market. Basically, anyone who bought this technology would pay back over 8-10yrs and source their own market. Our technology cost$10,000 and we are finding ways to reduce this price. We are working to get banks to finance with collateral free micro-loans through the completion of a pilot. Youth come and apply to be independent urban farmers. We train and finance them for their own container with guaranteed market

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Technology-Readiness Level:

6-8 (Demonstration)
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Our website

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Our app

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Business Plan

Our organization:

For-Profit

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Where we are located:

Nigeria
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How we will sustain our team financially:

We currently operate from 2containers on 1000sqm urban plot in Abuja. We produce 1ton for 5customers monthly. We’re scaling ten containers. Already we've tested with a grocery store, hotel and 4 restaurants that are willing to work with us as we're learning and making money. This information will help us to do a larger test launch of the investor model where we get individuals to invest in a container with us and grow for our customers, helping us better understand how to manage with more than just our own containers, calculating returns they will get and duration of payback period compared to our hypothesis. This also helps us manage logistics on a slightly larger scale. The container by container process also means we bring  a container online as we're signing customers so that we are growing specifically for a customer so that we dont have any waste in the market.

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The factors limiting our success:

Factors that might limit our ability to succeed include consistent supply of inputs, ability for youth to learn quickly, ability to get people to sign on board to invest in containers or get banks to fund youth. Logistics process of getting produce from farm to table and electricity issues. 

We plan to combat these by ordering inputs in advance, self-producing where possible, developing a curriculum and train-the-trainer system for youth, having solar back up electricuty

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How long we have been working on our solution:

1 year
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How long it will take to develop a pilot:

We have already developed a pilot.
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How long it will take to scale beyond our pilot:

3-6 months
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Our expected annual budget:

$236000

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How much of our budget we've secured to date:

$60000

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Our annual report

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Our promotional video:

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Our promotional materials:

http://www.instagram.com/freshdirectng

http://www.twitter.com/freshdirectng

http://www.facebook.com/freshdirectng

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Partnership Needs

We're looking for partners in these fields:

  • Technology Access
  • Income Generation
  • 21st Century Skills
  • Food Production
  • Supply Chain Management
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Why we're applying to Solve:

Our main interest in Solve is to benefit for the knowledge and mentorship to properly build a structured profitable business that can stand the test of time while impacting lives. We also see benefits in being able to use Solve to bridge the gap between enabling institutions and my company, develop partnerships to in renewable energy to take our containers off-grid, meet others in Tech space and those who incubate in tech and to use Solve to market our solution as a Pan African. 

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Our current partners:

Oxfam, World Bank GEM Program, AVDD, Dunes Center Nigeria, She Leads Africa, Hypertech Nigeria Limited.

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Solution Team

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