Agribusiness, water start-ups benefit from Kenya Climate Innovation Centre’s mentorship project


Kelvin Gacheru. FILE PHOTO | NMG

The Kenya Climate Innovation Centre (KCIC) has stepped up its support for energy, water and agribusiness start-ups with a mentorship programme for young entrepreneurs.

The mentorship programme implemented in partnership with Capital Strategies (K) Ltd — a business consultancy — is in its third year.

The programme aims to help the start-ups grow revenue and create jobs.

One of the companies that have benefited from the programme is MobiTech Water Solutions. The firm’s Mobi-Water solution monitors water levels in tanks, dams and even rivers via a mobile app. It targets water kiosks as well as large-scale users who need this information to optimise their water management operations. The technology leads to increased water use efficiency.

Harvested data can be used to analyse climate change effects on water such as a decrease in dam levels.

According to MobiTech Water Solutions founder Kelvin Gacheru, the KCIC training programme has enabled them to grow their business.

“We have acquired additional skills through mentorship by Capital Strategies, ” said Mr Gacheru.

Another innovative social enterprise is Ecodudu. It is run by Starlin Farah, a medical student, and Adan Mohammed, a biosystems engineer. The two young entrepreneurs breed the Black Soldier Fly larvae to make animal feeds and fertiliser.

Ecodudu’s goal is to re-cycle discarded food to create animal feeds and fertiliser. They supply markets in central Kenya and Nairobi.

Black Soldier Fly larvae help in breaking down organic substrates to make fertiliser.

The larvae is an excellent source of protein for animals. Local hotels supply the duo with left-overs to feed the larvae.

Ecodudu generates about three tons of larvae in 10 days. The larvae are killed, boiled to sterilise, dried up and sold.

Clients include pig, fish and poultry farmers.