“Making a positive impact on the world using agriculture and technology to improve the efficiency and sustainability of our food systems, has been my motivation since childhood,” says Herbert Bayo, CEO and Co-founder of Uganda’s Nutravest Limited.
Nutravest Connects Farmers to Buyers, Increasing Incomes by 50%
Nutravest, an agri-tech company started in June 2021, strives to boost the agricultural value chain in Africa by giving farmers the tools to access buyers, logistics companies, farm management services and partners to improve their businesses. In less than two years the company has signed up more than 12,000 small farmers spread over 25 communities in three regions. With Nutravest’s help, these smallholder farmers have increased their incomes by more 50% through accessing markets directly and avoiding expensive middlemen.
“I saw my uncle struggle to make a living out of farming and I realised nobody was going to save him and the other farmers like him if we did not do something ourselves,” reflects Herman.
“I co-founded Nutravest Limited to help increase farmer’s incomes and increase their efficiency by creating innovations around their struggles.”
Nutravest was born after Herbert visited his uncle in late 2020. “I had gone to bury my late father when i got time off to visit my uncle. We had a deep conversation on life in the village and the main thing out of our conversation was that he was struggling. Not because he was doing nothing, but because he was struggling to get better prices for his harvest and the weather wasn’t doing him any good.
When I came back from the village I realised my uncle was not alone because the poorest people in Uganda are farmers, yet they feed the nation. At that time i was running a community-based organisation that worked with farmers. We also did fish farming on the side. We too found it hard getting the right buyers. I thought, if those of us in urban centers were struggling to get the right prices for our produce, how difficult must it be for those in the rural areas? I co-founded Nutravest primarily to solve problems i faced first hand and saw other people struggle with.”
Nutravest’s impact acknowledged
Nutravest’s work has not gone unnoticed and Herbert Bayo was recognised by Forbes Africa as one of the top 600 young entrepreneurs in Africa at the 2023 Forbes under 30 Summit Africa held in Botswana. Nutravest was also selected to represent Uganda in the Global regional start up awards for its excellent work.
The company partners with a host of organisations from different countries to improve the life of smallholder farmers. These include Agape Innovations Limited (Uganda), Yenna Tech Private Limited (India), Green Without Borders (Kenya), cooperatives like Reach Out Nkokonjeru Farmers Cooperative (Uganda) and Community Empowering Africa and AP BLAAW & Associates (South Africa).
“I am so excited about what the future holds and I can’t wait to help and support more farmers,” exclaims Herbert.
Social entrepreneurs are known for finding solutions for society’s problems. What is the problem that you are addressing and what is your solution?
We have a platform that helps increase farmers incomes through directly connecting them to buyers who buy their produce at premium prices, therby eliminating predatory middlemen in the process. We serve a community of smallholder farmers in rural areas in the food value chain, agricultural businesses and other stakeholders involved in the production and distribution of food and agricultural products. Our mission is to help increase financial margins for smallholder farmers.
What do you see as the benefit of your Catalyst 2030 membership?
Being part of Catalyst 2030 will provide me with a supportive community, access to resources, and opportunities for collaboration and advocacy, all of which can help me to achieve my goals and create positive social impact.
Are you collaborating with any other Catalyst 2030 members?
One of my co-founders at Nutravest, Kisekka Daniel Chavo, and our partners at Agape Innovations Limited are members of Catalyst 2030. Mohammed Boulahya of ClimDev is also our mentor and advisor.
If so, can you tell me about some of the collaborations that you are most excited about?
I am excited by the project we are working on with Mohammed Boulahya. We want to strengthen the capacity of farmers’ adaptation and resilience to climate shocks through the use of climate change solutions. We also want to increase farmers’ access to crop weather services and crop weather insurance to help them mitigate the effects of the harsh, unpredictable weather.
While in Botswana attending the Forbes under 30 summit, I met a young woman entrepreneur who wanted to build a cheap wireless weather station to help farmers track the weather. She is into hardware so asked for my help in building the software for the machine. It’s an individual project but I am so excited that I will be contributing to this project that I hope will be of greater help to farmers, not in only Botswana but Africa as a whole.