A woman-led agribusiness in Nigeria is leveraging resource-smart technology and the support of the African Development Bank (AfDB) to produce affordable and healthier vegetables using urban rooftop hydroponics. Soupah Kitchen & Grocery Technology Company, based in Ibadan, is at the forefront of innovative solutions to climate change and sustainable agriculture. With the backing of the AfDB and the Africa Adaptation Acceleration Program (AAAP), Soupah Kitchen is revolutionizing farming practices and demonstrating the immense potential of adaptation in the agricultural sector.
Resource-Smart Technology for Sustainable Vegetable Production: Soupah Kitchen employs hydroponic systems to create controlled environments for growing lettuce, kale, leafy greens, and herbs. This technology allows them to produce cheaper and healthier vegetables compared to traditional rural farming methods. The start-up’s rooftop farms in Ibadan utilize resource-efficient techniques and consume up to 95% less water than conventional farms. Furthermore, their yields are 30% larger and are harvested in half the time, showcasing the efficiency and productivity of their approach.
Recognition and Support from the African Development Bank: Ifeloluwa Olatayo, CEO of Soupah Kitchen, was one of the winners of the 2021 African Youth Adaptation Solutions Challenge organized by the AAAP, a collaboration between the AfDB and the Global Center on Adaptation. The recognition and funding of $100,000 received through the YouthADAPT program have significantly contributed to strengthening Soupah Kitchen’s climate-conscious mission and scaling their impact. The support has enabled Olatayo to explore financing options and expand her business to other African countries.
Future Plans and Scaling Impact: Soupah Kitchen has ambitious plans to utilize blockchain technology to replicate and scale their urban hydroponic farming model in other African nations. By leveraging this advanced technology, they aim to enhance food production, improve urban landscapes, and contribute to air quality improvement in cities across the continent. With their innovative approach, Soupah Kitchen is showcasing the potential for sustainable agriculture to address the challenges posed by climate change while creating economic opportunities and resilience.
Private Sector Financing for Climate and Green Growth: Recognizing the critical role of the private sector in mobilizing financing for green growth and climate resilience, the African Development Bank has chosen “Mobilizing Private Sector Financing for Climate and Green Growth in Africa” as the theme for its 2023 Annual Meetings. This emphasis underscores the importance of innovative enterprises like Soupah Kitchen in closing financing gaps and driving sustainable development in Africa.
Soupah Kitchen’s success story exemplifies the transformative power of innovative approaches to agriculture, particularly in the face of climate change. By utilizing urban rooftop hydroponics and resource-smart technology, they are producing affordable, healthier vegetables while mitigating environmental impacts. With the support of the African Development Bank and recognition from various programs, Soupah Kitchen is paving the way for sustainable farming practices in Africa. Their efforts highlight the potential for adaptation in the agricultural sector to create jobs, diversify economies, and strengthen resilience across the continent.