Kumwe Harvest is a social enterprise based in Rwanda, founded to address long-standing quality issues in Rwanda’s maize value chain.
Recognizing Rwandan farmers’ poor post-harvest infrastructure and practices as a cause of widespread aflatoxin contamination, we developed a novel approach aimed at improving the quality of local maize.
Our innovative ‘Kumwe Model’ transforms farmers’ post-harvest process into a quick, efficient and mechanized operation. This is accomplished by purchasing unshelled maize (on the cob) from farmers at farm-gate immediately after harvest, transporting it to a central processing facility for immediate shelling and drying, and then delivering it to commercial buyers.
Kumwe Harvest reduces the time farmers spend on post-harvest processes, minimizing farm losses while maximizing the quality of produce.
100% of our maize is accepted as Grade 1 with low-aflatoxins, reducing rejection rates of our buyers. We offer competitive prices for maize and efficient processing.
We work with top clients to solve their post-harvest challenges and provide high-quality product with no hassle.
Officially founded in January 2018, Kumwe Harvest has processed and sold 4,000 MT of maize to commercial buyers this year. To do this, Kumwe Harvest works with local farmers and cooperatives. Via the Kumwe Model, farmers’ post-harvest losses and expenses are reduced, allowing incomes to increase by up to 150%. Moreover, Kumwe pays every farmer within 5 business days of pick-up.
Our efficient and mechanized post-harvest process reduces the overall post-harvest processing time from 67 days (10 weeks) to 6 days.
As a result, we dramatically reduce aflatoxin development, increasing the quantity of Rwandan maize reaching high-value commercial markets. The landed cost of maize for agribusinesses is reduced in turn, allowing them to reduce the final product cost for consumers in Rwanda.
Beyond the immediate stakeholders’ benefits and retention of value, the Kumwe model increases local economic spend, catalyzing local transport and trade of maize as well as local labor and youth employment:
INCREASED EMPLOYMENT. Recruitment and development of local talent, including 6 youth field agents and 200 local laborers during 2018A harvest season. At scale, 60+ youth employed on rural development schemes and 400 local laborers employed on skills development programs.
RURAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT. US$1.3M worth of maize imports substituted so far by US$1M injection into local transport and maize, with money distributed to formal bank accounts. At scale, US$9.3M imports substituted by US$10M local capital injection.