This is Our Story
Olivia Karanja

Olivia Karanja Program Associate, The Rockefeller Foundation

Achieng' Otieno

Achieng' Otieno Communications Officer - Nairobi, The Rockefeller Foundation

August 28, 2017

This is Our Story

Olivia Karanja

Olivia Karanja Program Associate, The Rockefeller Foundation

Achieng' Otieno

Achieng' Otieno Communications Officer - Nairobi, The Rockefeller Foundation

August 28, 2017

We all love a good story, and there isn’t one better than the heartwarming one with attributes of improving people’s lives. This is especially true at a time when we are hungry for cool stories from Africa, mythically referred to as the ‘dark continent’.

Enter our YieldWise initiative, with the innovative, integrated approach to halving post-harvest loss. The combination of market demand, farmer training and aggregation, giving them access to finance and technologies—to optimize any value chain for the reduction of post-harvest losses. Launched in 2016, we are now a year and a half in, managing the progress of the initiative, evolving as we go.

Tanzania Maize Storage

The lessons have been brimming over—and so the stories need to be told innovatively too! We are deliberately growing a storytelling culture so naturally, we needed a good medium, and that is how we chose to work with Africa 24 Media. Well known for their trademark show Africa Journal, co-produced with Reuters and that that celebrates Africa’s growth and development, A24 has been a suitable and welcome partner.  With their ability to curate stories and a network that transcends the continent and beyond, together we stepped the journey of sharing the YieldWise story for television.

Reduced post-harvest losses lead to benefits for people, profits and the planet. Small scale farmers earn more income, small and medium businesses have healthier balance sheets, citizens of the world are able to nurture the finite resources accorded to us, only to name a few. Together with A24, we set out to our three focus countries; Kenya, Tanzania and Nigeria—to collect these stories, captured in documentaries, infomercials and a series show.

Nigeria Tomato Farmers’ Cooperative

The productions expose us to the world of several small scale farmers, their families and communities, and provide a glimpse into the daily, practical gains of YieldWise, and how these lives have been impacted. One such is Talatu, Chairlady of a tomato farmer organization in Kano, in Northern Nigeria. She and the members of her group leased a parcel of land and planted tomatoes during the last season. They then applied the post-harvest management techniques they had learned from a YieldWise funded training session conducted by PYXERA Global, our implementing partner. The difference was as night and day, in every practical sense.

For example, during harvesting, they used plastic crates instead of raffia baskets to transport the tomatoes, and so prevented them from squeezing and bruising en route. This left the crop in good shape for sorting and grading, with better chances of having more produce access a wider range of markets. The group earned the maximum from selling their yield, and practiced newly acquired skills in value addition, for even more income later. They then used hygienic methods to dry and develop tomato derivatives such as pickling, to increase their shelf life, for sale later on.

Mangoes feature

For their story and more from YieldWise beneficiaries, have a view!

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