Innovating Agriculture In Africa To Save The Lives Of 16,000 Children A Day

On an otherwise reasonable evening, more than 1,000 people packed an auditorium in Boulder, Colorado, for the culmination of the 2012 Unreasonable Institute. They came to see 23 ventures present their solutions to some of the world’s greatest challenges.


Winston Odhiambo, Founder and CEO of Edom Nutritional Soluations, shares how his venture is bringing innovative agriculture solutions to Africa to solve the big problem of malnutrition that takes the lives of 16,000 children a day.

Edom Nutritional Solutions provides solutions to micro-nutrient malnutrition. Fortifying staple flours for over 500 million children & young women who are limited by expense & imprecision to access Iron,Vitamin A & Zinc is our mission. We manufacture micro-nutrient rich porridge flour, maize meal flour & a health seasoning premix , avail them to the malnourished through affordable retail distribution in rural areas, low market urban areas and smaller outlets in smaller packs of 250 grams that the majority millions at the BoP can easily access & afford. Use of staple foods as delivery vehicles for the critical micro-nutrients; fortified with a premix of moringa oleifera, mushroom& grain amaranth (whose combination eliminates micro-nutrient deficiency),avail them in smaller packs of $0.4 is in the spirit of The 2008 Copenhagen consensus that endorsed this as the least expensive, most reliable approach to curb micro-nutrient malnutrition.

What is the urgent social or environmental need you’re addressing?

According to a world bank global health status report, malnutrition is the most pressing health problem implicated in the deaths of 16,000 children worldwide everyday & adversely affects the physical/cognitive development of generations of children . The communities are unable to migrate from nutritional dependency to independence & few health initiatives (supplementation/ nutrition programs in public health facilities) reach them. The consequential failure to tackle Malnutrition places it as a common underlying factor that continues to derail the achievement of all the 8 MDGs. For sustainable preventive healthcare strategies, micronutrient health remains the basic building block on which rests every socio-economic aspect, yet the most vulnerable people hardly access micronutrients. Sub-Sahara Africa is the worst hit with over 500 million affected. This propagates 2 vicious circles: First, lack of commitment to nutrition leads to underinvestment in nutrition, which leads to weak impact, which reinforces lack of commitment. Second,The poor not being able to afford adequate nutrition, cant realize their full potential and hence unable to pull themselves out of poverty.

What is your solution to this need? Describe your business strategy.

Staple Food fortification has been endorsed by the 2008 Copenhagen consensus as the least expensive/most reliable approach to address micro-nutrient deficiencies on a larger scale. This strategy works in favor of millions with limited access to centrally processed foods by effectively addressing limitations that prevent fortification efforts from being widely implemented by ensuring this micro-nutrient premix availability in the first instance. Its coupled with innovative equipment such as the all-important micronutrient fortification facility and product availability in affordable, accessible, reusable economy packs in the most common retail outlets as impactful designs that will eventually lead to nutritional autonomy.

The strategy uses staple flours as delivery vehicles for the critical micronutrients ,avail them through affordable retail distribution in rural, low market urban areas in smaller packs of $0.4 that the majority millions in the survival markets can access. The economy packs to the majority who live on $1-2 a day generate low unit margins but profitable volumes to ensure financial growth and scalable.

About the author

Unreasonable Institute

Unreasonable Institute

The Unreasonable Institute arms entrepreneurs creating solutions to the world’s biggest social and environmental problems with the mentorship, capital, and networks they need to do so.