The idea is to manufacture and sell two technologies appropriate to the production and processing of rice: economic rice balls for steamers (women who handcrafted rice), and threshing machines for rice farmers in the North and central Benin, areas of high rice production.
HODA Kouakou Steve holds a Master's degree in Economics and is 34-year-old without a child. Acting Director of the Mini Rizerie in Kérou (North Benin), specializing in the production, processing and marketing of parboiled and white rice, and CEO of Afririce Agrobusiness, he is the chairman of the preparatory committee for the establishment of the cooperative Developers of Atacora-Donga rice processing units. A man of commitment, developer of initiatives and permanently in search of new knowledge since his young age, he decided to embark on entrepreneurship. This forced him into several entrepreneurship training courses with the Junior Achievement company, the Ministry of Youth, the US Embassy, the National Agency for the Promotion of Employment (ANPE) Togolese Association of Practitioners for Education and Development (APED-Togo). After two years of training in entrepreneurship, he set up with a friend the Quotidien "Soleil Benin Infos", two years later, he created with another friend a consulting agency. Fascinated by agriculture, he runs the mini rizerie at Kérou and creates the Start-up Afririce Agribusiness specializing in the manufacture and sale of technologies around local rice. His idea is selected among 1000 others in the Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship program of the Nigerian billionaire philanthropist, boss of UBA.
As an economist by training, I have experience in project management and in media and company communication. This allowed me to be Director of Operations and Programming at the Intellect Consulting firm where I led several multidisciplinary teams; Director of Rice, Monitoring and Evaluation Manager and Head of Economy of the newspaper "Le Soleil Bénin Infos". Responsible for the servants of the Mass, the Youth Catholic Student, the Life and Faith movement; Formerly Executive Director of the Association of Sustainable Development Volunteers and the International Alliance for Sustainable Development Goals, I coordinate all these associations today.
We have set up in 2012, the newspaper "Le Soleil Benin" today selected among the ten newspapers choose to lead the media communication of the Beninese government. With Rizerie, I won two funding with PADA and PACER. I am one of the 50 entrepreneurs of the 3rd UAC Start-up Valley. Chairman of the Steering Committee, I brought together all the promoters of the Atacora-Donga rice processing unit around a cooperative. What was not won in advance. I was also selected among the 80 young Africans to prepare the post-2015 agenda. I am currently a recipient of the Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship program, which recognizes the top 1000 young business ideas in Africa.
AFRIRICE is a company specialized in the design and development of appropriate technologies for the promotion of local rice in Benin and Africa. In collaboration with its partners, it also conducts studies to improve productivity in the rice sector.
The economic fireplace is a piece of equipment equipped with a solar panel and 120 or 300 kg equipment used to rice. It works with rice balls used as fuel instead of wood. With this device, the hard combustion and the steamers do not need to activate the fire, the solar device takes care of it. Advantages: it prevents women from committing a lot of resources to the purchase of wood (thus avoids the destruction of trees). This reduces production costs and increases their income. In the rice mills, it allows to get rid of bullets that clutter their environment. A fireplace with 120 kg equipment costs 1152 USD and 1600 USD for 300 kg.
The thresher-cleaner is equipped with pneumatic wheels, mechanically welded chassis and a minimal 12 HP diesel engine that beats and valve the paddy. Easy maintenance, its threshing capacity is 2500 kg of paddy per hour. It costs 4,700 USD and prevents rice farmers from bleeding hands, aches, acceleration of the heart rhythm. The use of this machine prevents workers from consuming Tramadol for threshing and winnowing. Having a thresher-thresher encourages to embalm a large area. And reduces the losses of paddy which are from 10 to 22%, thus allows the rice farmers to increase their income.
Which is new :
- The use of rice bales as fuel instead of wood
- We are the only ones in Benin to design these two equipments
- Mechanized and rapid threshing operation
Problem solved :
In the north and Center Benin, steaming is done with wood; The manual threshing and winnowing of the rice farmers. Rice mills are struggling to get rid of rice balls. Using the economic focus eliminates wood, helps get rid of rice balls from the environment. The threshers speed up the work and solve the problem of labor shortage.
Our project is aimed at women who are steamy women in Benin, particularly those in the center and the north. It is also aimed at Mini Rizeries and rice growers in Benin. To date, there are 390 village groups, 8508 rice farmers; 4766 women steamers and about 100 mini mills. We have noted the interest of a large number of actors, namely NGOs, hospitals, politicians, agricultural finance institutes.
How do you earn money?
Our activity is to produce and sell Economic Homes and Threshing Machines for the benefit of steamers and rice growers of North and Central Benin as well as neighboring countries. The company also plans to design other equipment and studies to benefit agricultural institutions on rice profitability and productivity.
How do you sell your product?
Promotion is made at the level of regional, municipal and technical and financial partnerships, which finance these actors through projects. The economic home is sold in cash and the threshing machine on a staggered or cash basis.
- Importers of agricultural equipment. Few of them could start importing threshing machines.
- Welders: Very many, they could copy our product if the innovation is not protected
- Cobemac; Specializing in the sale of agricultural equipment, they do not sell threshing machines or economic homes.
Of all the steaming technologies, it is the only one that uses rice balls. Women do not need to blow the fire; The device is equipped with a solar panel which triggers the activation of the fire. Our threshing machines are certified by Africarice therefore adapted to the environment in which it is used.