Ahad

Transforming Urban Waste into Rural Soil

Guavay

2. Zero Hunger 11. Sustainable Cities and Communities 15. Life on Land Flourish Prize Finalist - For Business as an Agent of World Benefit - Weatherhead School of Management

Overview

Guavay transforms food waste from urban markets, which is a growing waste management problem, into organic fertilizer.

Authors

Kevin Payne

Kevin Payne

Joseph Toth

Joseph Toth

School

Case Western Reserve University - Weatherhead School of Management

Case Western Reserve University - Weatherhead School of Management

Professor

Michael Goldberg

Michael Goldberg

Innovation

Guavay's organic fertilizer is comprised of food waste (~60%) and sawdust (~40%). In addition, Guavay is researching a method to fortify their compost with a novel nitrogen solution extracted from a local plant. Adding this solution to their fertilizer improves growth of fruits and vegetables. This solution not only helps transform waste into a useful product but also helps reduce GHG emissions from disposing of organic waste in landfills and manufacturing chemical fertilizers.

Transforming Urban Waste into Rural Soil

Inspiration

Ahad and his three co-founders, a microbiologist, a bio-technician, and a businessperson, were inspired to start Guavay after observing the growing amounts of food waste generated in urban markets and decreasing soil fertility in rural farms. They saw this an opprotunity to create a business that can help both issues at the same time.


Overall impact

Guavay currently creates their product, Hakika, in a 2000 square meter facility at a rate of several tonnes per month, which they sell to hundreds of famers near Dar. Guavay plans to expand production to gain economies of scale and lower production costs, and they are securing outside capital to purchase additional equipment.


Business benefit

Guavay has benefited by convincing truck drivers to deliver food waste from markets to their facility for free instead of delivering to landfills, which may charge a fee. This helps reduce the operating costs of both the drivers and Guavay.

Social and environmental benefit

Like most countries, Tanzania generates a lot of waste. Dar es Salaam alone generates about 1.5 million tonnes of waste each year. One third of which is food waste. Disposing of this waste can create both environmental and social problems like GHG emissions and poor sanitation. Guavay's organic fertilizer can also assist small rural farmers in transforming infertile soil into productive farmland.


Interview

Ahad Yassin Katera, CEO

Photo of interviewee

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Guavay

Guavay

Dar es Salaam, TZ

Business Website: http://guavay.com/

Year Founded: 2014

Number of Employees: 11 to 50

Guavay is a social enterprise based in Dar that transforms food waste and sawdust into organic fertilizer. In addition to traditional composting, Guavay is developing a novel method to extract nutrients from a local plant, which can improve their fertilizer for growing fruits and vegetables.