Local Ideation project changes global lives: Case of the Farmers’ Enterprise Center (FEC) in Uganda.
Updated: Oct 21, 2022
Where it all started
In 2016, Ecolife Foods developed a post-harvest scale-out strategy; “The Farmers Enterprise Centrer” for rural smallholder farmers and agri- entrepreneurs as illustrated in the concept developed and shared during the Global Post Harvest E-learning course in 2017. These centers originally combined together EcoLife’s energy-efficient low-cost cold store, clean drying, storage, and processing technologies plus facilitated marketing. The centers were intended to drive innovations for solving local challenges in communities.
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Upgrading and redesigning the strategy
Based on feedback from farmers in the communities (Baseline study report), we upgraded the Ecolife strategy in 2020.
Priority was made to use local materials found in communities in the construction of the cold store and development of the Farmers enterprise center (FEC). Many other international organizations like the Post-harvest foundation were consulted. Together with Kiima foods (scaling local partner in Kasese) and Smart Village Research Group (UK R&D partner), we included a farmer's training and information center, a seed distribution point, a wood and metal workshop, a retail shop, and a more cooperative marketing arrangement.
Above: Consortium members learning about the Ecolife cold store during the IMGAL project.
Below: Building a third prototype of the cold storage during the Efficiency for Access project
Opportunity to learn, discover and work on real-life technology challenges
The FEC is powered by a 45KW with the walk-in cold storage facility as the anchor load. Engineers, scientists, students, and agriculturalists learned and participated in the built-it stage and gathering community feedback. This has presented more opportunities for our partners (SVRG) in the UK to push forward the mini-grid with an anchor load for efficient energy use.