A Youth-led Start-up in Cameroon is Revolutionizing Agriculture

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Mumita Holdings, a young African start-up, is making a big difference in Cameroon’s agriculture sector. With the support of the African Development Bank, Mumita is providing low-cost greenhouses and solar-powered irrigation to help farmers produce crops sustainably year-round. The project is targeting rural women farmers who cultivate indigenous green leafy vegetables, such as ndole, eru, bitter leaf, and wild spinach. These vegetables are an essential source of nutrition and revenue for the farmers.

Low-Cost Greenhouses and Solar-Powered Irrigation

Mumita is helping farmers to build low-cost greenhouses using locally-sourced materials such as wood, cement, and mesh. This approach has reduced the cost of building a greenhouse from $2,500 to about $500. The greenhouses help farmers to cultivate crops year-round, increasing their yields and earnings. Additionally, the company has provided solar-powered irrigation systems that enable farmers to water their crops without relying on expensive fuel-based generators. These systems reduce farmers’ reliance on erratic rainfall patterns, which have historically hurt their yields.

Winning the YouthADAPT Challenge

Mumita’s CEO, Matiedje Nkenmayi Gislaine, was among the winners of the 2021 African Youth Adaptation Solutions Challenge, organized annually by the African Development Bank and the Global Centre on Adaptation as part of their joint Africa Adaptation Acceleration Program (AAAP). As a winner, Mumita received a development grant of $100,000 and participated in a 12-month business accelerator program to scale up the business, create more jobs, and expand its impact.

Since winning the YouthADAPT Challenge, Mumita has made significant progress. The company has constructed two steel greenhouses and ten wooden greenhouses in two cooperatives, improving the capacity of vegetable nurseries from 1,500 seedlings to 25,000 seedlings. Additionally, they have set up a processing unit that can transform one tonne of dried vegetables per week, up from an initial 100 kg. The company has trained over 2,300 farmers in ten villages in the southwest region, Mbanga in the Littoral region, Bamenda in the Northwest, and Boumnybel.

Mumita’s Success and Future Plans

Currently, Mumita can supply indigenous dried vegetables in most of Cameroon but aims to expand coverage within and into other parts of sub-Saharan Africa. The success of Mumita shows that private investment can play a critical role in closing financing gaps to drive green growth and build climate resilience. The African Development Bank is focusing on Mobilizing Private Sector Financing for Climate and Green Growth in Africa as the central theme of its 2023 Annual Meetings scheduled for 22-26 May in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt.