FRUTI-CYCLE

For fresh fruits and vegetables everywhere, everyday

An affordable bio-gas powered tricycle, mounted with a 300kg capacity cabin, refrigerated by forced air and evaporative cooling system.

Use Case

According to FAO 45% of fruits and vegetables produced in developing countries are lost during post-harvest period. That is lesser food available for consumption and more methane gas in the atmosphere. The loss is due to poor means of transport to the markets, poor handling and poor storage in high temperature. The widely available transportation means is bicycle and motor bikes which contribute to 70% of trips to the local markets, with lesser carrying capacity (30-60kg), poor packaging for transportation on poor roads leading to mechanical damages before reaching the market. 30% of the fleets to the market are by truck with large capacity, but are expensive, can't access 70% of rural poor roads, has poor storage carrier with no protection against high temperature and bumpy roads.

Potential

Fruti-Cycle will reduce post-harvest losses by utilizing pre-harvest waste to generate biogas energy. This energy is used to power a tri-cycle to conveniently transport fresh produce in a refrigerated courier to the market. Fruti-cycle will enable safe transportation of fruits and vegetables in Africa were 70% of farmers use bicycles and motor bikes. With this innovation, a farmer can carry a quantity of (50-300kg) and make 1-5 trips every day to the market within 10-120km distance. Through door-to-door sales, he/she can sell directly to the consumer, eliminating middle men. The organic matter from the home made bio-gas plant is used as fertilizer in the garden to increase crop yield. Reduced food loss + Increased market accessibility + Increased productivity = increased food security.

Business Case

Fruti-cycle is a biogas powered tri-cycle, with a 300kg carrying capacity refrigerated courier for conveniently and safely transporting fresh fruits and vegetable to the market. It is targeted at the 70% of small scale farmers in developing world. Fruti-cycle is half the price of our competitor Bajaj tri-cycle and easier to run in the long run. It will earn revenue through direct sales ($800) +licensing fee ($8/month). With 50,000$ initial cost, it provides a 15.6% return on investment in the second year. With subsidies from the government, partnerships with local farmers’ organizations and international organizations, fruit-cycle shall obtain a sustainable competitive advantage to create cheaper better model to supply the local market and scale to international market within five years.

Objectives:

  1. • Reduce post-harvest loss due to poor transportation and handling by 50%
  2. • Increase market access by providing large carrying capacity, increasing ability to reach further markets and door-to-door distribution
  3. • Increase crop yield with available free organic waste from bio-gas plant, increase productivity with Less waste and increased income

Team FRUiTI-CYCLE

Kampala, Uganda

COMPUTER MODEL OF OUR BIOGAS POWERED TRI-CYCLE / Published January 13, 2016 by Ben Wokorach (Founder/CEO)

COMPUTER MODEL OF OUR BIOGAS POWERED TRI-CYCLE

The design incorporates the simplicity of a bicycle and the power of a motor cycle to derive a simple, low cost yet elegant with a head turner effect. This will not only attract the users, but also the people who see it

PROTOTYPE TESTING 8th Jan, 2016 / Published January 11, 2016 by Ben Wokorach (Founder/CEO)

PROTOTYPE TESTING 8th Jan, 2016

Banda Vegetable and fruit Market is about 1km away from our Work space (Kyambogo University Mechanical Engineering Workshop). As a team, we took the Idea (50% functional) to the market vendors and farmers in this market and we were overwhelm with the Feed back.
-Many people liked the idea and they asked God to bless us as we complete the project and also get First class when we complete our studies.
-Major concern is affordability, several people said they would buy it if at the end of it all its 100% functional and cheaper than tri-cycle that is in the market now.
-Mr. Oketa, a Farmer a bout 10Km away from the Market said him alone may not be able to buy, but he can mobilize his friends, fund-raise and together buy one that they can share (this gave us another idea how to structure our business models to consider group ownership and partner with farmers SACCOs ).
-Another idea that came up during the interaction is to consider developing the refrigerated cabin separately as a different project with different sizes (Small and Medium sizes). The Advantage is that those who already own bicycles and motor bicycles can just buy the refrigerated cabin at a cheaper prize and just attach it to their bicycle or motor bicycles.

PROTOTYPING (Building tri-cycle chasis oct 18, 2015) / Published January 10, 2016 by Ben Wokorach (Founder/CEO)

PROTOTYPING (Building tri-cycle chasis oct 18, 2015)

After explaining our idea to the Head of Mechanical Engineering department, we were offered to use the Foundry workshop (Kyambogo University). This became our work space for joining materials and testing technical aspects of the design.

Two weeks to Christmas, the university closed for a break and the workshops were closed too. We change our work space from the Workshop to our hostel Backyard, it was amazing celebrating Christmas as you stretch your hand a litle bit to do something on the first prototype

RESEARCH (A visit to Kyambades' Farm outside Kampala city 5th Oct, 2015) / Published January 10, 2016 by Ben Wokorach (Founder/CEO)

RESEARCH (A visit to Kyambades' Farm outside Kampala city 5th Oct, 2015)

Kyambade is a small scale Vegetable and fruit farmer. An interview with him helped us to understand the challenge of transporting fruits and vegetables from the farm to the market, from a farmers perspective. Kyambade says that when the fruits or vegetables are ready to be harvested, most time the middle men are the ones who hire small trucks or motor- cycle to come and pick the harvest from the garden. As for him, he doesn't have enough money to acquire a good transportation means. Since the middle men gets the harvest from the farm direct, they always have a higher bargaining power than the farmer leaving the farmers with little option and little income.

RESEARCH (A visit to Kalerwe 29th Sept, 2015) / Published January 9, 2016 by Ben Wokorach (Founder/CEO)

RESEARCH (A visit to Kalerwe 29th Sept, 2015)

. Kalerwe market deliveries. 70% of fleets to the market carrying vegetables and fruits are by Bicycles and motor cycles

Our Team

Our Mission

With 40-50% of fruits and vegetables lost before reaching final consumers in developing countries, we have set ourselves on the path to fight this post-harvest lost in fruits and vegetables (that happens due to poor handling and transportation when distributing), and increase food security all over the world. We aim to create a platform for serial innovation of transportation products ranging from Carriers to Crates and other products to improve handling, improve shelf life and reduce mechanical damages during transportation. These products will have a direct impact on the livelihood of the 70% of small scale farmers in developing countries, market vendors and urban mobile fruit/vegetable vendors.

Our Background

We believe that solving the problem facing us in the 21st century needs a more multi-disciplinary approach. We have come together from the field of Architecture and Product Design, Mechanical Engineering, Software Engineering and Information Technology, Food Science Technology, Business Planning and Accounting, from two different universities (Makerere University and Kyambogo University Uganda). This multi-disciplinary team has empowered us and provided a strong platform that not only enabled us to develop a solid informed solution but, also the human resource we would need to launch the project in the near future. We share common interests of social entrepreneurship, innovating products that empower small scale farmers in developing countries.

Our Badges

  • Power Team
    Your team has at least three members
  • Design Lab Experts
    Attended at least one of the weekly TFF Design Lab “office hours” sessions.
  • We Famous
    Your project has been covered by your university or other media outlet
  • Get #Social
    Created team Facebook or Twitter page and attached to team page
  • Fan Club
    You have 100 likes or followers on your team Facebook or Twitter
  • Interior Architect
    Posted three pictures of your team workspace
  • Idea Parkers
    Shared a picture of your teams unique “idea parking”
  • Global Foodies
    Posted three facts about global food issues learned in the Explore mode
  • Insight + Insight + Insight
    Shared three new insights your team formulated in the Define mode
  • On Time, On Target
    Shared your Design Statement created during the Define mode
  • Post-it Fiends
    Shared pics of the chaos of the post-it filled Ideate work mode
  • Brain Food
    In the Ideate intro video, Richard shares an important tip while eating an apple. Share a team-apple-eating pic!
  • Expert Input
    Shared three pieces of expert feedback on your concept
  • GIF Masters
    Shared a GIF of the prototype building frenzy
  • Live Testing
    Shared a video of a user testing your concept
  • Way To Go
    Shared a picture of your plan for iterating your project
  • Etch-A-Sketch
    Shared your logo sketching session on your team blog
  • WE DID IT!!
    Submitted Final Pitch, including videos and concept details
The information contained here represents student project ideas developed as the result of brainstorming activities during Round 1 of the TFF Challenge. It does not represent any final business plans or commercial products.