Africa, a continent highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, is experiencing shifts in food production, livelihoods, and living conditions due to phenomena like flooding, droughts, cyclones, and sea-level rise. However, a significant portion of climate funding for the continent focuses on mitigation rather than adaptation, posing challenges to the region’s resilience.
Recognizing the immense potential of adaptation in sectors like agriculture, Soupah Kitchen & Grocery Technology Company, a woman-led agribusiness in Ibadan, Nigeria, is spearheading innovative solutions to climate change with the support of the African Development Bank, the Global Centre on Adaptation, and the Africa Adaptation Acceleration Program (AAAP).
Soupah Kitchen utilizes resource-smart technology to cultivate lettuce, kale, leafy greens, and herbs using hydroponics on Ibadan rooftops. This approach not only produces cheaper and healthier vegetables but also mitigates the environmental impact of traditional farming methods. With the AAAP’s assistance, Soupah Kitchen has successfully implemented its climate-conscious mission, demonstrating the potential of urban agriculture in enhancing the urban landscape and improving air quality in African cities.
By harnessing the power of vertical hydroponic technology, Soupah Kitchen can yield up to 1,600kg of vegetables within a 26-day cycle. The company’s resource-efficient methods require 95% less water compared to traditional farms that use chemical fertilizers. Furthermore, Soupah Kitchen’s yields surpass those of conventional farms by 30% while requiring only half the time to produce. These remarkable results highlight the potential of climate-smart agriculture to address food security challenges and build resilience in the face of climate change.
Soupah Kitchen’s CEO, Ifeloluwa Olatayo, was one of the winners of the 2021 African Youth Adaptation Solutions Challenge organized by the AAAP, a collaborative effort between the African Development Bank and the Global Center on Adaptation. Olatayo expressed her gratitude for the opportunity, stating that the funding of $100,000 received through the YouthADAPT program has been instrumental in strengthening their climate-conscious mission. The one-year accelerator program not only provided financial support but also facilitated learning about financing options to scale their impact.
With the aim of expanding their business and impact, Soupah Kitchen plans to leverage blockchain technology to replicate and scale up their resource-smart farming techniques in other African countries. This approach will not only enhance food production but also contribute to building climate resilience across the continent. The recognition of Soupah Kitchen’s potential is further underscored by the €10,000 prize received from the Netherlands Embassy in Nigeria as a Food Connection Challenge Winner.
Recognizing the crucial role of the private sector in closing financing gaps for green growth and climate resilience, the African Development Bank Group has chosen “Mobilizing Private Sector Financing for Climate and Green Growth in Africa” as the theme for its 2023 Annual Meetings. This event, scheduled to take place from 22 to 26 May in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, will provide a platform to discuss innovative financing mechanisms and partnerships that can drive climate adaptation and green growth in Africa.
Soupah Kitchen’s pioneering efforts in climate-smart agriculture demonstrate the potential for adaptation to drive economic growth, job creation, and resilience in Africa. By employing resource-smart technology, the agribusiness has revolutionized vegetable production, providing cheaper and healthier options while mitigating the environmental impact of traditional farming methods.