The Know Eat Hub in simple terms is a concept developed by VACID Africa which supports the amassing of smallholder producers to link them with Value Chain actors in the marketplace. The Know Eat Hub will assist in assessing of information to do with the harboring and storage of agricultural assets and produce.
The KnowEatHub therefore provides a meeting point for knowledge providers and knowledge seekers, promotes availability of storage space for produce suppliers and buyers as well as access to global internet-based knowledge platforms. is a value chain aligned agribusiness development concept formulated by VACID Africa to support agricultural value chain engagements of smallholder farmers by using knowledge
and eateries as the glue that promotes the aggregation of produce from smallholder farmers. It therefore provides a knowledge driven marketplace for value chain actors in one or more commodity/value chains to generate synergy in their interaction.
As implemented by VACID Africa, we seek to realize the foregoing KnowEatHub by developing physical and logical spaces that drive our engagement with smallholders in the following areas:
1. Knowledge Management
VACID Africa promotes knowledge capture and dissemination for decision making using ICT4Ag and ICT4D. The management of synthesized information for immediate use and to help create wealth is the therefore basis of VACID Africa's engagement in supporting smallholder field data capture solutions using its digital scales at produce aggregation centers. Using this, we ensure that value chain actors that work with VACID Africa generate information which when synthesized becomes knowledge needed to realize sustainable development. Since communities may not have theknowledge and financial resources to invest in what companies do, the KnowEat Hub becomes to solution to realizing this.
2. Pro-poor Value Chain Modeling and Support and Training
Making the Value Chain a practical concept has remained elusive for far too long, papers have been written on how to make value chains support wealth creation for smallholders, but they remain that, just papers. We develop value chain models for any agricultural commodities that smallholders engage with and support them to implement the model through training and support them using our agripreneurship based knowledge solutions.
3. ICT4Ag and ICT4D
Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) when used to support agriculture become ICT4Ag. When used to support knowledge based development, they become ICT4D. We are the
agricultural think-tank for Telecentre.org, the global ICT4D initiative for bridging the digital divide. We therefore use the KnowEat Hub as a contextualized telecentre whose role is to support
agricultural value chain interventions using ICTs.
4. Agribusiness Development
Value Addition and Cottage Industry Development (VACID) is a creation of a post-harvest management initiative of UNIDO and UNDP. The founder of VACID took the challenge to upscale the project when it ended to realize what UNIDO sought to achieve in some pilot locations but using ICTs in multiple locations. The first product out of this is to change the practice of agriculture as
hitherto practiced to a value chain agribusiness orientation. The fruits are there to see from policies and institutions that one sees pursuing agribusiness and agroindustry.
5. Cooperative Development and Support
All value chain interventions require a business orientation for their implementation. Many pro-poor efforts do not realize their focus because of the lack of this missing element. VACID Africa realized this when formulating its value chain interventions for smallholders and adopted the cooperative as the organizational framework to promote share-based investment engaging in all layers of the value chain hence supporting the pro-poor dimension. The KnowEat Hub derives its power and traction with pro-poor value chain engagement through cooperative investments.
6. Agroforestry Value Chain Development
Agriculture is normally associated with agricultural commodities. In some locations, undertaking agriculture through crops and livestock calls for more than those two. It calls for planting of trees as a third element to support the agricultural practice. Our agroforestry practices revolve around seeds and seedling business for smallholders. They procure inputs and knowledge based services from the KnowEat Hub which also market their seedlings and fruits, wood and timber once the harvest is done. Training and support to agroforestry is also extended from the KnowEat Hub.
7. Agricultural and Technical Vocational Education and Training (ATVET)
The declaration by the African Union on the need for African countries to invest 10% of their GDP in agriculture continues to face one single challenge – lack of knowledge resources in terms of human labor. VACID Africa through its capacity building arm, VACID Africa Institute, has been working with the GIZ/CAADP ATVET Programme to support the infusion of agripreneurship into agricultural training. We have undertaken studies and evolved business models for supporting the integration of ATVET through our ICT driven Knowledge Studios, which we promote through the KnowEat Hubs and Agripreneurship Learning Centers/Academies.
8. Dairy Value Chain Development and Support
The dream of an empowered wealth creating value chain for VACID Africa is exemplified through the engagement of our technologies in the dairy sector. We support the digital weighing of milk to support records management using a knowledge driven software solution through our technology arm, Octagon Data Systems Limited. Through this we have seen the development of the dairy value chain using the transparency that emerges through accountability that our knowledge driven digital solutions. Instead of owing ICT centers, we recommend the use of KnowEat Hubs as the knowledge drivers for the dairy value chain actors.
9. Livestock Value Chain Development and Support
The marketing, knowledge, health and production systems needed to support livestock production calls for various synergies to evolve. Knowing the low levels that livestock extension achieves, we have crafted the KnowEat Hub as a value chain solution to support the inputs, storage, extension support and marketing infrastructure for livestock through resource aggregation of county governments, national governments, privates sector, cooperatives and livestock marketing organizations whose strategic goals we work collaboratively to help realize.
10. Avocado Value chain Development
Part of our agroforestry value chain engagement is in the promotion of fruit trees, which Avocado is a good example. VACID Africa's efforts in engaging with what can promote wealth rides on the digital weighing solutions that we develop. We use platform scales for avocados fruit weighing to ensure that a standard payment framework is used. We support seedling sales and fruit aggregation, marketing and sales using the KnowEat Hub platform. We are always keen in working with researchers keen in community focused value addition efforts that can promote wealth creation at smallholder level.
11. Mango Value Chain Development and Support
Part of our agroforestry value chain engagement is in the promotion of fruit trees, which Mango is a good example. VACID Africa's efforts in engaging with what can promote wealth rides on the digital weighing solutions that we develop. We use platform scales for Mangos fruit weighing to ensure that a standard payment framework is used. We support seedling sales and fruit aggregation, marketing and sales using the KnowEat Hub platform. We are always keen in working with researchers keen in community focused value addition efforts that can promote wealth creation at smallholder level.
12. Potato Value Chain Development and Support
The Sweet or Irish potato has become a common food solution in Kenya. We are proudly associated with the value addition efforts of creating potato crisps, juices from vitamin A loaded orange fleshed sweet potatoes and the floor composites that emerge from solar driven drying of potatoes. We support efforts to create producer cooperatives for the purpose of produce aggregation,storage, value addition, and marketing. The KnowEat Hub provides the knowledge and organizational infrastructure to realize these goals.
13. Technology Adoption and Training
VACID Africa Institute, the knowledge arm of our organization is a registered ATVET training organization. We support the adoption of the technologies that we develop or for which we partner with the appropriate technology owners whose traction with the value chains is discernible. We have pioneered the telepresence driven knowledge studio as the vehicle for the diffusion of information and knowledge to visitors of the KnowEat Hubs. We welcome partnerships to realize this as it holds the solution to the integration of youth and the marginalized into productive and sustainable agricultural value chain adoption.
14. Logistics and transportation support
Transport of produce from collection or aggregation centers of producers is a major deterrence to the optimization of the value chain. We support the pro-poor agribusiness cooperatives to support an investment focus of logistics and transport. We partner with Mara Moja Transport Company to extend their GIS, web-based platform to link producers to the markets. While the cooperative may own the vehicular infrastructure, we encourage partnership with Mara Moja for management of the market engagements.
15. Pro-poor Financial Services
VACID Africa's foundation rides on the promotion agribusiness and supportive agripreneurship practices. All business more so agricultural aligned require capital through value chain aligned investments. VACID Africa promotes joint procurement of foods, feeds and inputs to consumer stores and retained value chain earnings into a savings and credit cooperative of smallholders to support inclusive financial modeling. Inclusive finance is one of the functions that VACID Africa promotes through the KnowEat Hub.
16. Banana Value Chain Development
VACID Africa is a service provider in the Banana Value Chain development and support of the World Bank/ GoK Project of the Kenya Agricultural Productivity Programme (KAPP), which integrated agribusiness to its portfolio to KAPAP after engagement with VACID Africa's capacity building programme. We support the organizational development focus of smallholders in Taita Taveta within the agricultural value chain dimensions of sustainable development. Our goal is to create a banana value chain driven KnowEat Hub.
17. Fish Value Chain Development
VACID Africa was in 2011-2013 a service provider in the Fish Value Chain development and support of the World Bank/ GoK Project of the Kenya Agricultural Productivity Programme (KAPP), which integrated agribusiness to its portfolio to KAPAP after engagement with VACID Africa's capacity building programme. We supported the organizational development focus of smallholders in Nyeri County within the agricultural value chain dimensions of sustainable development. Much as this effort came to an end, we have continued to support the development of the fish value chain through the agribusiness cooperatives that we have integrated into the VACID Africa Agribusiness Apex Cooperative at the National level.
It is anchored in promoting storage of agriculture-based products in abid to improve access to markets when prices are right. It integrates a logical model consisting of four pillars.
1. The Community Eateries Pillar
2. The Produce Storage Pillar
3. The ICT for Development (ICT4D/ICT4Ag Pillar, and
4. The Agribusiness Support Pillar
How we work with the model:
We works from the strategic goal of increasing access, availability, and utilization of agricultural resources through a regionally integrated model of community enterprises. The organization focuses on activities that present improved technologies, knowledge, and all-encompassing value chain linked inputs in agriculture and nutrition.
Our business model is based on our consistent pursuit to understand the consumer who defines the market dynamic of demand from which we then define how the value chain activities will link up with the interest of the smallholder producer. With the smallholder producer lacking in knowledge at the pre-production, production, logistics, processing and trade and consumer level, and given our market assessment that financial resources are generated better at this level, we have developed a model of ensuring that communities become actors across the value chain layers.