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HomebusinessJoyce Kamande: How this JKUAT Graduate is Turning Farm Waste into Wealth

Joyce Kamande: How this JKUAT Graduate is Turning Farm Waste into Wealth

Joyce Kamande is the co-founder of Safi Organics, a for-profit company in Kenya that produces and sells organic fertiliser.

The company turns farm waste into a product called Safi Sarvi which boosts crop yields by an average of 30% and over time restores degraded lands by restoring their soil pH and reducing plant toxicity.

Kamande set up the company immediately after graduating from university, creating job opportunities for over 50 rural youths.

Here is her story as told by WoK.

Growing up, Kamande witnessed children go without food fuelling a determination in her to make a difference in future.

With this in mind, she sought higher education with hopes of securing a white-collar job to address the food security issues in her locality.

She holds a master’s degree in logistics and supply chain management from Jomo Kenyatta University

However, while in her fourth year in university, Kamande volunteered to help a friend who would later become her business partner.

“It was during this journey that I uncovered a tremendous potential to transform our community. Post-graduation, I wholeheartedly joined them in the field, and thus, Safi Organics was born,” she said.

The company produces among other products, Safi Sarvi, which is basically farm waste turned into organic fertiliser.

Safi Organics employees PHOTO/Safi Organics

According to the company, it boosts crop yields by an average of 30% and restores soil pH, reducing plant toxicity.

“Because our fertilizer production process can be implemented locally at the village level, we are able to alter our reaction condition and custom-tailor the fertilizer characteristics (e.g., pH, N, P, K) to the local soil type and crop growth requirements, almost at a single-farm granularity, in a way that traditional one-size-fits-all fertilizer production cannot achieve,” Kamande said.

The company also offers soil testing and agronomical services.

Kamande said the company is currently working with smallholder farmers, and it has impacted over 12,000 farmers who had been affected by synthetic fertilizers.

“This is the kind of impact we want to put across over 100 million farmers across the continent who face the same struggles,” she said.

At the moment, Safi Organics hope to impact over 4 million smallholders across the country.

“As we scale up, we will work with local agricultural input-output companies and farmer cooperatives who will operate our village-based fertilizer plant. The hardware will be distributed to them by licensing to a large agricultural OEM and selling as a complementary product through the OEM’s existing dealership and distribution network. For this we charge license fee to the OEM for the usage of our patents,” Kamande said.