Ugandan Tech Company Fights Crop Loss with Innovative Packaging
KAMPALA, Uganda, August 21, 2020 /3BL Media/ – At Hause Limited has joined Business Call to Action (BCtA) with the goal to reduce agriculture loss by providing 300,000 low-income producers in rural Uganda with insect and rot-resistant packaging. By 2021, the company will create 30,000 indirect jobs for low-income retailers, wholesalers, traders and distributors of these bags. By 2023, the company also aims to provide 1 million low-income people working in Uganda’s agribusiness with increased access to markets in Africa, Dubai and the Gulf Cooperation Council region.
BCtA aims to accelerate progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by challenging companies to develop inclusive business models that engage people with less than US$10 per day in purchasing power (in 2015 dollars) as consumers, producers, suppliers and distributors. It is supported by several international organizations and hosted by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
The Sub-Saharan Africa region experiences significant post-harvest loss; at least 30 percent of all food produced is wasted. Uganda, a major agricultural producer in Africa, loses about between 10 to 30 percent of its beans, rice and maize crops each year. In Uganda, about 85 percent of small-scale farms are run by families, particularly by women and children, with limited ability to hire farm labour. The majority of farmers use bags to store their crops, but these bags fail to prevent post-harvest loss.
At Hause’s solution to this problem is to provide farmers with insect and rot-resistant packaging, which helps improve the storage life of produce, while a smart value chain platform digitizes access to a ready market leading to higher incomes.
The company’s smart value chain platform, Bank At Hause – Factor Xchange (BAH-FX) mobile web app allows customers, especially wholesalers, to trace commodities. When small traders distribute goods packed in the 3-ply bags, a user scans the QR codes labelled on the bags. The BAH-FX platform automatically monitors stock quantities and identifies which stock items are low in stock. The app immediately notifies crop producers via SMS to get their produce ready for distributors to collect, process and supply to wholesalers based on decreasing quantities. This method aims to make farming more sustainable, increase productivity, determine price patterns, attract investment and improve market access.
“Uganda is a major agricultural producer in Africa but faces significant crop loss due to poor storage capacity,” said Ashiraf Nsibambi Kyabainze, Founder and CEO of At Hause. “At Hause hopes to prevent crop waste and provide better livelihood for workers through improved packaging that can help farmers get their product to market.”
At Hause earns revenue on this initiative through the sale of its bags, as well as monthly subscription fees to its BAH-FX platform. The company manages risk through profit-and-loss sharing contracts, which are compliant with Islamic banking and finance.
The company currently operates across more than 54 districts in Uganda, with a focus on supporting low-income Muslim female farmers. At Hause current investors include the Uganda Development Bank, Resilient Africa Network, Makerere Innovation and Incubation Centre, RUFORUM, the Moroccan Government and the Qatari Government.
“At Hause’s tech-based solution via their mobile app ensures better financial returns through market access for farmers, while innovative food packaging has created an efficient solution to address food loss,” said Luciana Aguiar, Head of Business Call to Action.
BCtA membership does not constitute a partnership with its funding and programme partners, UNDP or any UN agency.
About At Hause Limited:
Established in 2017, At Hause Limited provides small producers with insect -and rot-resistant 3-ply bags to store produce. The producers are pulled together from disaggregated farms to a smart value chain linked to wholesalers financed to purchase farmer's stock. The initiative selectively finances wholesalers to purchase farm produce packed in the bags pulled through the supply chain, ensuring improved financial returns to farmers, small traders, and to wholesalers.
About Business Call to Action (BCtA):
Launched at the United Nations in 2008, BCtA aims to accelerate progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by challenging companies to develop inclusive business models that offer the potential for both commercial success and development impact. BCtA is supported by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), UK Department for International Development (DFID), and hosted by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). For more information, please visit www.businesscalltoaction.org.