A sustainable food supply chain value ecosystem
According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization report of 2015 in the city of Arusha in Tanzania, just like other cities in Africa about 45% of food especially fruits, vegetables and honey gets spoilt and lost through poor handling, packaging, storage and distribution from farms to final consumers.
An attempt to improve food supply chain value and subsequently reduction of post-harvest losses of food in some towns in Tanzania has brought an innovative idea of developing or creating a solar powered tricycle that will be used to handle, store and distribute food from farms to final consumers. Unlike the Manual pedaling tricycles need a lot of energy to make them move forward and those which use fossil fuels, are relatively expensive to operate and are environmentally unfriendly when compared to the proposed solar powered tricycle. In addition, the manual tricycles are ergonomically tiresome, cannot cover long distance in a day,
do not contain cold storage facilities and carry little load.
The proposed innovative solution will improve food nutritional values and food security while
fostering economic empowerment and the welfare of small scale farmers and food entrepreneurs.
In addition the proposed innovative solution will increase food market access to the farmers,
suppliers, markets and final consumers. Whereas this innovative technology will reduce post
harvest losses of food from the current 45% of the total production to 5% by the year 2050 in the city of Arusha while it will also expand employment opportunities for youths and women from marginalized communities.
The operation of using a solar powered tricycle to reduce post harvest food losses will be
enhanced by the use of Short Message Services (SMS) system to gather productive information and communication from farmers and deliver information on the availability of various
foodstuffs to distributors, markets custodians and consumers
Going Through Again
Design thinking is never easy, and design thinking is a state of mind. Design thinking is a human-centred approach of understanding the society challenges and turning those challenges into potential opportunity areas. It’s a holistic approach to problem solving and business thinking that employs empathy, ideation,
prototyping and experimentation to solve real-world issues.
* Below are few things our team loved about Design Thinking:
(i) It’s crazy collaborative.
(ii) It promotes learning-by-doing approach and even suggests that failure is a good way to learn.
(iii) It insists business people and entrepreneur to keep focused on humans and human needs.
(iv) It relies on both creativity and logic.
It is important to note that design thinking solutions can be matched to specific business challenges. Whereby every successful business growth needs a strategy, and every strategy needs a story.
And this is our story - last year November, we connected with Thibault Geerardyn from VECO - Belgium, which is currently known as Rikolto - Belgium.
Mr. Thibault came up with a great entrepreneurship training for youth from ages of 18 to 35 from Arusha and Mwanza Region in Tanzania. The entrepreneurship training took 4 weeks and it is known as Food for the Future. During the training and having gone through the different steps of design thinking, our team spotted a lot of society challenges including food market access, food storage, food distribution, food or agricultural knowledge and food handling. While brainstorming with the team, and going back to the communities to co-create on potential matters concerning those challenges - it came to our concern that we could combine responsible handling, storage and distribution of food to eliminate post harvest food losses and wastage that most local food vendors and distributors encountered which is about 45% according to the FAO.
Such a remarkable story could be a business challenge which needs growth in creating a clear, consistent and vision of the future of food security in Arusha city and Tanzania as a whole.
Stories not only depict plausible visions of the future, stories also
created shared meanings and built human connections. In addition, stories where a great way to share an idea's true values and purposes.
The story above mainly included the end users or the local communities whom are faced by post harvest food losses and wastage as well as poverty and decrease of crop yield due to climatic change and lack of food market access. Under storytelling, the team has spent a lot of time bridging or connecting not only with the local communities but also the local government and other non governmental agencies.
We believe that our story, which has been modified by the local Arusha city community members, government and non-governmental agencies shall rule the society and our story is a great thing done by a series of small of things done together.
Lastly, the story created during this design thinking lab is about real people and good food as well as reliable and access to productive usage of energy or electricity (PUE) that will tug the heart strings of Arusha city community members and Tanzania as a whole with a clear understanding of our audience and continues with character and plot
development that is authentic and believable and delivered in a fresh style.
Testing the solar powered tricycle prototype
Leo Leo Eco-Transport team went out to test the solar powered tricycle with the local Arusha city community members including the local food vendors in the food markets, supermarkets, food distributors and suppliers, schools, hospitals and the final consumers (at their homes).
It was a brilliant day, because we captured a lot of suggestions and compliments as well as feedbacks about the solar powered tricycle from the local communities. At first, it was very challenging to engage with the targeted food beneficiaries, however our engagement was very social and outstanding because we kept ourselves into the communities shoes in order to deeply understand how the solution will work and benefit the local food beneficiaries especially the local small-scale farmers, food vendors, distributors and suppliers as well consumers.
One suggestion that the team will work on was presented by the local food vendors in the city markets, whereby the said that - "food business has deteriorated because a lot of local food vendors are everywhere in the streets selling food and also that they get a lot of challenges when purchasing foodstuffs from the distributors and suppliers because they increase the prices of the foodstuffs because the distributors and suppliers believe that the local food vendors highly need the food to do business. They added that - they pay a lot of money to get their foodstuffs delivered to their work areas because of lack of proper distribution base. Also, they said, they lost and waste a lot of food because they end up buying more foodstuffs for business, which as a result need up not getting bought because the demand for is not as it used to be because their a lot local food vendors in the streets.
Both the local food vendors in the streets, the supermarkets, distributors and consumers (schools, hospitals and homes) complimented that the solar powered tricycle is a new idea that they have heard of it before and they believe it will narrow the huge gap of food supply chain value in Arusha city in order to avoid the increasing food loss and wastage which contributes to food insecurity, poverty and lack of economic empowerment.
Solar Powered Tricycle Prototype 1
The global population is growing and climate change is threatening food security. It is our responsibility as young talent entrepreneurs to come up with innovative solutions to avoid food loss and food wastage in order to eliminate food insecurity and poverty in developing countries especially in Tanzania. Our team, Arusha Eco-Transport has been under an intensive design thinking on how to bring up an innovative solution to discard food loss and food wastage in Tanzania and luck enough, in collaboration with the local community in Arusha city - we have come up with an Eco-friendly solar powered tricycle that could be used to handle, store and distribute food from the farms, to the distributors, suppliers, markets and the final food consumers in order to avoid the huge gap of food supply chain that exist in Tanzania. The solar powered tricycle is an innovative idea which aims to eliminate post-harvest food losses and increase income of the small-scale food beneficiaries as well as improve economic empowerment in Arusha city and Tanzania as a whole.
According to Victoria Runyoro, a Masters student at The Catholic University of East Africa - "I wasn't much concerned about food waste and food loss, until i was invited and motivated to participate in two global student competition (Shell Ideas 360 and Thought for Food) which both sparked my interest of engaging with the communities to find solutions of changing the behaviour of how humans produce and consume food - which results to 50% food loss and the increase of food insecurity and poverty in Tanzania. She adds, i believe that if people in Arusha city and Tanzania as a whole will change their behaviour on food production and consumption, food loss and wastage will be reduced to 5% by the year 2050 and it will be possible to feed the human population of +9 billion.
The solar powered tricycle prototype is the first Eco-friendly food storage and distributor which is mounted with solar panel refrigerator that will be used to store food especially fruits, vegetables, meat, milk and green legumes for about 3 days without getting spoilt and loss due to the innovative handling, storage and distribution method.
The solar powered tricycle will also have two rechargeable batteries that will be used to store electricity power from the conversion of the solar energy, and will be used in case the sunlight is not out - during rainy seasons. The solar powered tricycle will have a solar collector that will be used to transform the solar energy into electricity and then the electricity will be taken to the electricity motor engine which will push the tricycle from place to another and will charge the fridge for sustainable handling and storage of food when delivering from the farms to the food distributors, food suppliers, food markets and final food consumers.
Instead of purchasing a lot of food from the market, the solar powered tricycle is ready to delivery food at your door and at your shop at time when an order is made by the consumer and other food beneficiaries. The solar powered tricycle will reduce time-wastage for most people when they demand food and the solution will narrow the huge gap that exist in the food supply chain by cutting the increasing supply chain of food distribution to improving the food supply chain value.
We know that more technologies are coming, using mobile applications for food delivery and so forth but this one is the best innovative solution because it will be using Short Messages Services (SMS) system to deliver information to the food farmers/producers, to the food distributors, to the food markets, to the food suppliers and the final food consumers in order to avoid the unsystematic production and consumption of food by food beneficiaries.
Please support the SOLAR POWERED TRICYCLE SOLUTION TO DISCARD FOOD LOSS AND WASTAGE FROM 50% TO 5% BY THE YEAR 2050.
Conceptualization of ideation
Solar Powered Tricycle mounted with a solar paneled refrigerator that will be
used to handle, store and distribute perishable foodstuffs especially fruits, vegetables, fish,
poultry and honey will be developed. The solar powered tricycle will also be fitted with two
rechargeable batteries and an inverter to store solar energy that will help to propel the machine
and run a refrigerator in case the weather will not be favorable to generate power from the sun.