Posted on October 12, 2021
Berytech is launching the first Batch of the Scaling-up Agri-food Innovations (SAFI) project, greeting three SMEs innovating in agri-food and providing solutions to reduce the dependency of imports in Lebanon into its eight-month scaling up program.
The objective of the SAFI project is to increase the private sector competitiveness locally and internationally and improve the livelihoods of vulnerable groups by equipping the companies with the technical and financial resources to generate increased productivity, sales, and exports while improving producer income.
The selected SMEs are Aquafarm, Dooda, and House of Lilies, selected out of 139 received applications, where only ten of which were shortlisted. The SMEs were evaluated based on the following criteria: business plan, financials, bottle necks, expected impact, and the expected path to growth.
Aquafarm is the only shrimp farm in Lebanon. They are transforming fish, crab, and shrimp waste to animal feed. They are aiming to expand their fish feed production to supply local and regional fish farmers and expand their production line to other animal feed produce.
Dooda Vermiculture Soilutions
Dooda Solutions is an innovative earthworm farm specialized in producing vermicompost, a 100% natural fertilizer that can substitute imported fertilizers. Dooda already produces and sells to households and have recently expanded to target both organic and traditional farmers. They are looking to increase their production to supply a wider customer base and tap into new local and regional markets. Dooda is also currently part of Berytech’s Agrytech Accelerator program.
House of Lilies
House of Lilies is an agritourism family project that practices sustainable farming. HOL aims to enliven indigenous traditional crops alongside new exotic ones, producing ancient traditional preparations with a twist of innovation and creativity, using locally developed processes. Their mission is to be a year-round local source for high quality food, plants, aromatic herbs, and traditional seeds. They are looking into formalizing and increasing the production of compost tea to sell to the local market and potentially export.
During the eight-month incubation period, the three SMEs will go through four stages of support: Assessment & Growth Journey, Acceleration & Business Foundations Training Program, Tailored One-on-One Expert Support, and Matchmaking.
They will benefit from an eight-month roadmap; workshops on market validation, innovation and impact, sustainable business models, and marketing; tailored coaching seasons; and beneficial partnerships.
The companies will receive in-kind support totaling up to 100,000 USD, scale-up support on import substitution and food security, development of their MVP to full production and mainstream sales, acquire essential business skills, development of Custom-made business plans and receive personalized support, and create at least 6 part-time and freelance jobs.
Scaling-up Agri-Food Innovations (SAFI) is a two-year project focusing on the scaling of agri-food and agriculture solutions to reduce import dependency. The SAFI project is implemented by Berytech and funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) through the Agriculture and Rural Empowerment (ARE) Activity.