Food Security: Strategic Silo Storage Program

What is the objective?

The BGC Project, "SSSP," was developed with the objective of resolving a problem that Sub-Saharan Africa, in general, and East Africa in particular, have faced repeatedly by demonstrating the need for a comprehensive review of strategic food reserves and grain trade efficiency, backed up by efficient and flexible Cleaning, Drying, Storing, and Transporting Facilities (CDSTFs).

The Challenge

Historically, the grain industry in Africa has been heavily reliant on outdated grain storage facilities (old machinery and processing systems mostly owned by government agencies); congested (facilities receive crops from thousands of farmers at the same time), and result in inefficient and inadequate handling and processing. Storage capacity is also limited because most medium and long-term storage is done in warehouses (WHs), primarily in 60kg bags. WHs are only suitable for short-term storage or transit, resulting in high storage costs and losses due to spillage and spoilage. SSSP aims to solve these challenges to secure the future of food security in Africa and the world.

Using Kenya as an example, typical of most African countries, crop production is dominated by smallholder farmers (SHF) which present significant challenges as well as opportunities for the envisioned development of the primary sector. In Kenya, it is estimated that existing storage facilities have the capacity to store only around 20% of its combined average crop harvest. This is despite the FAO’s recommendations that each country is supposed to have 120% of  adequate storage facilities of the country's average harvest, to avoid food being spoiled or lost. Similar statistics exist across sub Saharan Africa presenting both short and long term food security concerns for the continent as a whole. 

The Opportunity

Considering the challenge of low availability of proper "Post Harvest Handling Facilities" (PHHFs) and the opportunity to cover such challenges, it is estimated that the country will need (if it follows FAO recommendation) around 3.6 million tons to adequate storage of its average harvest  plus a similar amount for imports (another 3.6 million tons = 7.2 million tons). Considering that most imports are deployed straight to individual processors with their own storage facilities, there is still a national requirement for more than 4 million tons of storage estimated at a USD$ investment potential of approximately 800 million. Adequate, strategic, well positioned and custom designed CDSTFs can become centers of excellence to farming communities as well as an excellent opportunity for investors to benefit from an economically and socially sound investment that can change the life of thousands of small and medium size farmers across Kenya and Africa as a whole. 

To make all of this a reality, SSSP and the industry's key players must collaborate to ensure food security, which is the objective of SSSP and the United Nations 1st and 2nd Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) across the world now and into the future;

  • No Poverty - End poverty in all its forms everywhere 
  • Zero Hunger - End hunger, achieve food security, improve nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture.

We believe that strategically placed "Post Harvest Handling Facilities" PHHFs can bring substantial development, social and economical improvements to rural areas. Some of the project goals are:

  • Good returns to investors
  • Project is replicable and scalable.
  • Economic development potential for rural areas.
  • Quality job creation and knowledge dissemination for rural youth and local communities
  • Decentralization of processing throughout the counties and countries.
  • Long-term reduction of rural/city migration (especially youth).
  • Fair and timely payment to SHF production = poverty alleviation.