Evelyn Musenya, is still basking in the warmth of the latest feather in her cap. The food technologist was recently crowned among the 200 beneficiaries of the Agribusiness programme conducted by the Kenya Climate Innovation Centre (KCIC).
This was courtesy of her company – CAVACS International ltd – which is a consortium of consultancies adding value to various food chains.
“I am very grateful to have qualified for this programme and happy to see that it is for real. I just want to thank them for coming down to the grassroots entrepreneurs like me who have been severely hit by the effects of covid-19. I believe this is an opportunity to offer farmers value for their crops,” she said in an interview with Africa sustainability matters.
Food losses in Sub-Saharan Africa add up to 432 billion Kenyan shillings (about 4 billion U.S. dollars) annually according to FAO. Tackling food loss and waste, and particularly post-harvest loss reduction through value addition is essential to achieving food security in the country.
“CAVACS International offers agribusiness value chain solution to the vast challenges experienced in the field of production, value addition and marketing of crop produce, animal, fish, birds and their products. This endeavor specifically trains and offers all the supportive consultancy in growing, production, value addition through markets and marketing of specific products; disposal of waste or utilization of the by-products of fruits and vegetables, milk and milk products, meat and meat products as well as cereals,” the happy lady explained.
Being a beneficiary of the agribusiness program, Evelyn is set to receive training, business advisory, mentorship and financing support for her business venture.
However, she says the effects of covid-19 have greatly impacted her business. She had to lay off all her staffs but she is hopeful that through the agribusiness program, she will be able to bring them back to work.
“For me, this project could not have come at any better time than now. Being in a market dominated by large industry players, I have been struggling to get space in the market due to financial constraints. Through the agribusiness programme, I will be able to brand my products and get exposure to the outside world.”
She adds that, “Marketing has also been a challenge since I am the analog type. The mentorship in this program will help me go digital and enhance my presence on social media which will come in handy in boosting my business growth.”
Located in Kiambu, Evelyn is looking to not only work with local farmers but also international. “My dream is to work with farmers internationally to train and help them get better returns for their products as well as ensure a sustainable supply chain of healthy food products.”
“I would like to thank the funding organizations, EU, DANIDA and KCIC team for this great work to ensure that grassroots entrepreneurs are not left out. I would also like to encourage those who have benefited from the program to work very hard and move to the next phase so that even the donors can feel encouraged,” Evelyn concluded.