2016 Young Entrepreneurs Awards: Cynthia Ndubuisi
Initiative: Kadosh Production Company (KPC)
Country of impact: Nigeria
Based in Nigeria, KPC helps women cassava farmers improve their livelihoods by making processing easier and the sale of finished products more profitable.
Nigeria is the world’s largest producer of cassava, an edible starchy tuberous root which is a major source of carbohydrate. Whilst women contribute around 70% of the total labour required to produce, process, market and distribute it, they earn just 17% of the total associated income.
Improving efficiency through innovation
Founded by Cynthia Ndubuisi in 2014, KPC uses an integrated mechanised plant that processes and packages cassava into finished products 200% faster and 20-30% more cheaply than existing processes. The plant also dries and packages cassava peel, which would otherwise be burned, to be sold as livestock feed. KPC enables women cassava farmers to produce more profitable cassava products and the reduction in processing time means that they can take their products to market more frequently.
Cynthia grew up with her aunt, a cassava farmer. She recalls the constant stress and inefficiency of cassava processing as a child. She started KPC to make processing easier and the sales of cassava products more profitable for women like her aunt.
Lifting women cassava farmers out of poverty
By working with KPC, women cassava farmers are able to process cassava in 12 hours instead of four days. They can exchange cassava peels for a 20% discount on the processing fee. Through farmer / retailer cooperatives set up by KPC they can guarantee access to timely processing and packaging. Cooperative members also receive business mentoring and KPC helps facilitate links to large-scale buyers.
KPC has worked directly with over 60 women cassava farmers and retailers and by 2020, aims to reach 65% of women farmers in the Niger-Delta, indirectly impacting 10 million households.
The next round of Awards opens in May 2017, register your interest here.