Vision A – Growing a Bright Future

Short description

We want to combat diet-related blindness through vitamin A-rich sweet potatoes.

Which problem do we aim to solve and why?

250 million children worldwide suffer from vitamin A deficiency – a widespread form of hidden hunger. Consequently between 125,000 and 250,000 children die every year due to the lack of this vitamin. In addition, limited cognitive abilities and blindness are among the consequences of vitamin A deficiency. This problem can be solved via a relatively simple vitamin A supplier – the sweet potato. The entrepreneurial approach of our project shall help many people in the long term and in a sustainable way.

Our solution

Our resources are simple but effective: our project is part of the Enactus format, which offers the possibility to implement entrepreneurially sustainable and self-supporting solutions on the ground. In cooperation with local partners, we are building a particular vitamin A-rich sweet potato to distribute it to the population as the project progresses. With a temporary surplus, the prices are subsidized. In addition, we will export a small part of the harvest to Germany in order to invest the higher return on the scale of the project. As prelude, we are already carrying out a first pilot project with a farmer in South Africa.

Why is our idea innovative, new or different?

Our guiding motive is “help for self-help”. With the project, we are trying to implement the model explained above in cooperation with the local population. The cooperation with the farmers living and working on the ground means that the project itself contributes to the healthy and balanced diet of the local population. This very thought is what characterizes us.

How is our idea feasible?

With our current pilot project, we can confirm the current cost and revenue planning. Through the experience of our local partner, we can rely on a goal-oriented distribution to help where the help is needed. At the same time, we would like to make further use of the project in other parts of the country or continent of Africa.

Which technologies, channels or methods are we planning to use?

First projects can be realized through the Enactus network as well as private contacts. In South Africa itself the potato is cultivated conventionally. In the future, we intend to set up our own trade channels in order to support the local population even more efficiently, in addition to newly created workplaces.

What outcome and what improvements do we expect? How do we measure these?

Already about 100 grams of our sweet potato are sufficient to cover the need of vitamin A for several days. Through local distribution data, we can measure success relatively quickly as long as the potatoes reach the people in need.

Our budget planning & acquisition of potential partners

A five-figure sum of EUR 10,000 can be invested actively in the scale of the project. With regard to potential partners, we consider exporters as well as wholesale traders in Germany to be helpful as well as organizations that promote the education in the respective African countries.

Vision A - Growing a Bright Future

Team:  Sarah Kovatsch, Frederic Martin, Alexander Brenske, Lukas Wegener

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