Hunger is one of the major problems embattling Nigeria as well as the African continent as a whole. The statistics are pretty alarming as over 22 million Nigerians live in hunger, while an estimated 65 percent of the country’s total population lives below the poverty line.
— SDGsNigeria Action (@SDGsNGA) November 11, 2016
This is not good news for a country touted to be Africa’s wealthiest, most populous nation, and the fastest-growing economy. And sadly, the numbers keep increasing by the day due to the unending string of conflicts in the middle-belt and north-east regions of Nigeria, coupled with the growing high price of goods.
But all that is about to change now. Thanks to innovative tech solutions such as web app, Chowberry.
About the Chowberry App
Amazed at @ChowberryHQ, connecting small retailers and NGOs in Nigeria to fight #foodwaste. Through their service, NGOs buy discounted product close to expiration from retailers to distribute. #ZeroHunger #BCFNforum #foodtech #foodinnovation
— Lee Greene (@CultivateAcorns) June 6, 2018
Chowberry is a cloud-based software service that connects supermarkets to the economically disadvantaged, allowing them to buy food that’s about to expire at a discount.
These discounted food are often obtained by charities and NGOs to tackle food poverty for their feeding programs by enabling them to procure more food for less.
Launched in 2017 by a software engineer, Oscar Ekponimo, Chowberry is designed to “reach Millions of food-deprived individuals with affordable nutrition through innovation and enabling technologies”.
The web app, through its network of retailers, enables access to nutritious food products for food-deprived beneficiaries. Thereby creating an innovative value exchange cycle between retailers and potential consumers or disadvantaged individuals.
How Does it Provide this Solution?
We partner with food retailers & supermarkets to gather donations at an agreed bulk discounted price & facilitate its redistribution during Chowberry Food Drives & Nutrition Empowerment Programs in local communities🇳🇬
Partner with #Chowberry today pic.twitter.com/Dps5XW5Il4
— Chowberry (@ChowberryHQ) February 1, 2018
Running as a web-based solution, the app enables signed up retailers monitor and track their food products by scanning barcodes on food items and notifies them via the scanned barcodes when these food items are reaching their expiry date.
These food products are then provided at very discounted rates to the Chowberry online marketplace available to interested customers and NGOs/organizations who can purchase products nearing expiration for low prices.
“I saw an opportunity to provide affordable nutrition to millions of people while providing retailers with a sustainable system for managing the end of shelf-life. This is a win-win solution,” Oscar Ekponimo said.
The pilot phase for Chowberry was a three-month pilot involving 20 retailers reached about 300 people in Lagos and Abuja, feeding 150 orphans and children at risk. As a result, Ekponimo won the Rolex Award in 2016 for Applied Technology.
So far, Chowberry has impacted over 50,000 homes with its network of 15 charity organisations–an impressive feat for the Nigeria-led startup. Currently, Chowberry has its partner stores in Lagos, Abuja and Port-Harcourt and is hoping to have partner stores across Nigeria soon and even other parts of the world.
“We’re expanding our work and working on scaling to other parts of the country and to other regions and possibly replicating it in other parts of the world,” Ekponimo said.
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