Kenya is a country renowned for its agriculture and the quality of its produce, but for many small-holder farmers, the challenge is improving both yields and livelihoods. For Evylin Munyi and her co-founder at KOFAR Kenya Ltd, the solution was to create a business that would help farms to repair the soil using organic materials to boost crops and farm efficiency.
What does your company do?
At KOFAR Kenya we supply farmers, especially small-holder farmers, with Organic and Natural inputs to use on their farms so as to restore the soil back to health from overuse and abuse from conventional inputs. The farmers use the products and within 1 month to 3 months the results are clear that their soils needed to be applied with the Organic inputs. The inputs are applied for all crops but the application rates are different.
What inspired you to start your company?
My co-founder and I have grown up on the slopes of Mt. Kenya where all kinds of crops could be grown with high yields, and farmers have traditionally made good livings from the sale of their bumper crops. However, when we did our research and found out that the poor state of the soil resulted in poor yields and some crops not being cultivated altogether, low yields inevitably meant that less was sold in the market and the farmers had less disposable income to spend. We searched for organic and natural inputs and found a few in Kenya and others we imported from the USA. The need to improve the livelihood of farmers, especially small-holders farmers made us start out on the journey towards Organic Agriculture.
Why should anyone use your service or product?
KOFAR Kenya products improve the health of the soil by lowering acidity, improving fertility, increasing water retention of the soil, improve the humus level of the soil and also re-introduces the beneficial bacterias in the soil.
Tell us a little about your team
In KOFAR Kenya we have a CEO, Chief Operations Officer, an Agronomist and a team of professional advisers who are called upon whenever we need help in the agricultural field and in complex business issues. We also have a team of Sales reps who visit farmers in the fields.
Share a little about your entrepreneurial journey. And, do you come from an entrepreneurial background?
We started doing research on Organic inputs and Organic Agriculture in 2009-2010 and registered a company in 2011. The passion to succeed and make a difference in our generation in the agricultural field has driven us to carry on even when the going was very tough and external support almost non-existent. We are not from an entrepreneurial background, instead we stirred ourselves up to go into business.
What are your future plans and aspirations for your company?
The KOFAR team plans to construct an Organic inputs factory in rural Kenya in the coming years. We want to be the number one provider of Natural and Organic soil amendment inputs in Africa and beyond.
What gives you the most satisfaction being an entrepreneur?
When we train a farmer to use our products and they apply them to their farms, and then a few months later they report their amazingly good results, I am so proud at that time to be a solution provider and a game changer in the farmer’s life. It's a most satisfying moment indeed.
What's the biggest piece of advice you can give to other women looking to start-up?
There are unique obstacles you will meet on your entrepreneurial journey as a woman - they will slow you down but believe it or not you will overcome them.
Source: Lionesses of Africa