Updated Apr 04, 2019

James Katumba

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And affordable solution for school feeding programs in Uganda with an aim to combat climate change by reducing firewood consumption in schools, improving nutrition and supporting local food producers in the community.

With the introduction of precooked beans and maize(corn) in the East African region, we believe we can reduce the annual demand fire wood by over 1 billion kilos. This at the same time while reducing farmers post harvest losses, thus increasing their incomes and simultaneously improving nutrition and food security in Uganda.. This concept is not new and is being used in developed countries but ...
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With the introduction of precooked beans and maize(corn) in the East African region, we believe we can reduce the annual demand fire wood by over 1 billion kilos. This at the same time while reducing farmers post harvest losses, thus increasing their incomes and simultaneously improving nutrition and food security in Uganda.. This concept is not new and is being used in developed countries but has failed to make it to sub-saharan Africa where it is urgently needed the most.
How does your innovation work?
Dehydrated Precooked beans are processed by simply cooking the beans until they are ready then placing them in a dryer which extracts most of the moisture. This creates a shelf stable dry product that retains most of the original nutritional content. To reconstitute to a ready to eat bean product, all one has to do is to add water and boil for 10 minutes. They can be processed from fresh beans as well as dry beans uncooked beans. Dehydrated beans are popular in developed countries and are used by restuarants mostly in the Americas.(Examples, Harmony housefoods , CTI Foods MexicaliRosebeans ) They are also a must have for emergency supply kits in the USA due to their long shelf life. They are easier to process, transport and store than canned beans which are simply too expensive for the average East African. While dehydrated beans are mainly a niche product in developed countries, the technology used to produce them could help to significantly disrupt the beans subsector in the region that feeds almost 200 million people.
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Stage 3: Proof of Concept

In partnership with USAID- Feed the Future, Commodity Production and Marketing Activity by Chemonics, we carried out a comprehensive market survey. This was done in conjuction with with a product test to assess the acceptability of dehydrated beans in Uganda.
The project promoters have put a limited amount of both precooked beans and maize on the retail market. While the response was positive it has to be stated only small quantities could be produced with the equipment procured for producing a minimum viable product. The cost of production using electric powered test equipment is also significantly higher than would be possible with commercial scale gas powered machinery.
In November 2016, Feed The Future, Commodity Production and Marketing Activity in Uganda carried out a nationwide feasibility study and product test for precooked Dehydrated beans. This was done in partnership with Gryphon Group Ltd, that produced the precooked beans that were tested in various institutions across the country.

Survey team Carrying our product test of precooked dehydrated beans at a rural area school and a road side stand.

The product test revealed that 70% of the testers found the precooked beans to be good, very good or excellent with 86% confirming that they would buy the precooked beans when they became available on the market.
Registered in Ugandain Uganda

Focus Areas:

Education, Energy Efficiency, Agriculture and 10 MoreSEE ALL

Education, Energy Efficiency, Agriculture, Post Harvest, Processing & Production, Economic Growth and Trade, Entrepreneurship, Private Sector Competitiveness, Environment, Forestry, Grasslands and Shrublands, Natural Resources and HealthSEE LESS

Implemented In:

Uganda

UgandaSEE LESS

1
Country Implemented In
6
Employees
$25,000
Funds Raised to Date

Problem

High firewood consumption in schools is leading to the large scale decimation of our environment in a bid to feed the ever growing school population in Uganda. This high consumption is directly linked to utilization of beans as the main protein food served to students in every school in the country on every single school day. Beans require 3 hours of more of cooking time and so consume the largest amount of firewood leading to the destruction of 6000 hectares of forest cover annually.

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Solution

With our innovation we can reduce the amount of firewood consumption in schools by over 50%. Our Precooked bean and corn products would require less than 10 minutes of cooking time reducing the amount of firewood a school would need to cook food. This innovation is already quite common in schools in the USA and Europe. Precooked beans can be fortified with essential vitamins and minerals, providing students with healthful food enabling them to grow strong both physically and mentally.

Target Beneficiaries

Our primary beneficiaries are schools that provide food for students on a daily basis. Students shall also benefit from the demonstrably better quality food provided them as will the farmers who will provide the raw material beans and corn used to prepare the food.. The country as a whole shall benefit from a reduction in environmental destruction. Reducing firewood consumption would help combat climate change and improve the lives of every one impacted by its adverse effects.

Mission and Vision

Food waste is one of the biggest challenges facing Uganda, a country which is more than capable of providing enough food for all of East Africa. An innovation like this would provide a solution for extending the shelf life of food allowing it to reach even the most remote areas. Improving nutrition in schools while combating climate change is a core mission of our organization. Having grown through the same system we are fully conversant with these issues and seek to resolve them.

Competitive Advantage

Our value proposition is convenience. Saving time and money is perhaps the easiest proposition we can make both to targeted consumers and the farmers who will potentially supply the raw material product. Dry uncooked beans require upto 3 hours of cooking time while precooked bean product shall only require the addition of water and cooking for less than 10 minutes and its ready to eat. Fuel consumption would be reduced by up to 97%.

Planned Goals and Milestones

The tehcnology used to process dehydrated beans can also be used to process other products like corn, potatoes, fruits and pulses. Almost all food groups can be processed with this technology. Our target is to expand into maize(corn) which is the most widely consumed food product in East AFrica. Being that currently, there are no large scale beans/maize dehydration facilities in East AFrica, the potential for growth is huge.
Funding Goal500,000
Projected Cumulative Lives Impacted1,000,000

The Team Behind the Innovation

Hon, Victoria Sekitoleko, Former Minister of Agriculture in Uganda, Dr Eva Alemu, Phd, Food technologist, founder of Uganda national Bureau of Standards, Dr William Ssali Phd food technologist, Solomon Baganja certifiend Accountant, Claire Ssenyonjo, Food technologist, James Sekitoleko, entrepreneur

EXECUTIVE TEAM INCLUDES WOMEN

Milestone

Mar 2019
Recognition ReceivedPENDING
Mar 2015
New Country Implemented In
Uganda
Feb 2016
Created

Supporting Materials

Feed The Future Uganda Commodity Production and Marketing Activity Dehydrated Precooked Beans Project_Report FN25pdf version .pdf
The-Chikita-Beans-Project-pitch-deck2333.pdf
Chikita-beans-project-Member-profile.-.pdf