Kenyan startup Selina Wamucii, a mobile platform that shortens the agricultural supply chain, has received a US$100,000 grant from global social impact programme Expo Live.
Launched in 2015, Selina Wamucii sources and grades fresh produce from farmers, then sells to vendors and distributors, both locally and globally.
The farmers connect to Selina Wamucii via USSD on their mobile phone. Their information is collected, including produce type, farm location, availability dates and projected volumes during the growth period, and then entered into the company’s mapping system. It has more than 3,000 registered smallholder farmers.
Selina Wamucii will use the Expo Live grant to further develop its mobile platform and to acquire best practice and organic certifications to open up new markets and achieve even better prices for farmers.
The grant will also be used to recruit an additional 2,000 farmers to the platform, enabling Selina Wamucii to more than double its acceptance rate for buyers’ requests from the current 2.4 per cent to at least five per cent.
Expo Live is Expo 2020 Dubai’s innovation and partnership programme, and has an allocation of US$100 million to back projects that offer creative solutions to pressing challenges that impact people’s lives or help preserve the planet.
Its flagship global Innovation Impact Grant Programme provides up to US$100,000 per successful initiative, to be made available incrementally as the project meets ongoing conditions. Projects are also supported with business guidance and promotion, and may have the chance to showcase their work to many millions of visitors at Expo 2020 Dubai.
“Selina Wamucii addresses all of Expo 2020 Dubai’s sub-themes – opportunity, mobility and sustainability – by enhancing opportunities for farmers, reducing food waste by improving access to fresh produce, and contributing to a more sustainable agricultural industry,” said Yousuf Caires, vice president of Expo Live at Expo 2020 Dubai.
“Expo Live is based on a firm belief that innovation can come from anywhere to everyone. This is a major component of our redefinition of what a World Expo can and should do: tap into its convening power well before the event to enable problem-solvers around the globe to promote innovation and build partnerships that leave a lasting legacy not only in the UAE and the region but across the world.