Tackling food rubbish in Nigeria with an app

Oscar Ekponimo looking during boxes of cereal

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Oscar Ekponimo is a businessman behind Chowberry

“Going though food for any person, for any child – it’s destabilising, it shakes we to your core. we remember being a child and going though food and being means to have only one good dish in a day.”

Oscar Ekponimo’s expostulate comes from a childhood fuelled by hunger. When his father got ill and couldn’t work, a whole family went hungry.

But now this tech businessman in Nigeria’s collateral Abuja thinks he has a answer to a problem of food inequality.

He’s a contriver of an app called Chowberry that connects people to supermarket food that would usually finish adult in a bin.

It has already been taken adult by 35 retailers, NGOs (non-government organisations) and other organisations in a country.

At a supermarket in Abuja, a sales partner unloads shelves filled with semolina, a form of milled flour, into offered trolleys. He’s scheming a products for collection by Thrifty Slayer – a gift that has bought these ignored equipment around Chowberry.

Discount products

As we mount in one of a aisles, Oscar takes out a inscription to uncover me how a record works. “We have a complement on this app that allows retailers to put information about products that are about to expire.

“These products are deeply ignored since a products are reaching a finish of their shelf life.

“The food would usually be thrown divided by a retailers, though with a complement they have a approach of saving their losses,” he adds.

“At a same time NGOs are means to take this food during a really reasonable cost and acquire some-more food for distribution.”

Currently anyone can sequence food during a bonus online, nonetheless there are 15 charities with priority entrance who are means to to sequence incomparable quantities.

Chowberry has a list of their preferences and sends them updates when it receives a form of food a charities need for their food placement programmes.

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The ignored products would differently be wasted, contributing to food confidence challenges

The supermarket that Oscar is display me turn was an early adopter of Chowberry when it launched dual years ago.

“Some of a shops we work with have pronounced they’ve managed to save 80% of what they used to chuck away,” he tells me.

A investigate consecrated by a United Nations indicates that globally, one-third of food constructed for expenditure is mislaid or wasted.

This amounts to 1.3 billion tonnes a year. UN total also advise that one in 9 of us opposite a creation go to bed on an dull stomach – notwithstanding there being adequate food in a world.

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Oscar wants to assistance people on low incomes be means to feed themselves

Oscar’s ability to describe to a problem is during a heart of his goal to strech those vital on intensely low incomes, right during a bottom of a pyramid.


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“They don’t have entrance to smartphones, so a joining entity is a NGOs,” says Oscar.

Thrifty Slayer is one of a many charities and NGOs that buys ignored products for a food placement programmes by a Chowberry app.

Its programmes are saved by offered donated used wardrobe online though Ijeoma Nwizu, Thrifty Slayer’s founder, says Chowberry helps a charity’s supports go many further.

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NGOs and charities assistance people in towns such as Pyakasa by charity lunches

“We started feeding about 40 people, though afterwards a village kept growing. Now we feed them and beside communities – about 200 people each Sunday,” she says.

“As a numbers of people we feed increasing we started to demeanour for ways to keep a costs low. The good thing about partnering with Chowberry is a accessibility of food in a quantities we need them.”

UN total uncover over 14 million people in Nigeria are personal as undernourished.

Hunger is a vital problem according to Amara Nwankpa, executive of open process during a Shehu Musa Yar’Adua Foundation, an organization campaigning for food security.

“I consider a hurdles we face with food supply and entrance represents an event for innovators. We have no choice though to innovate a approach out of this situation,” says Amara.

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Oscar Ekponimo was driven by his possess childhood craving to set adult a app

“Most times we get romantic about it. we get a clarity of achievement that a elementary thought can strech people in a genuine way. But a feelings are mixed,” says Oscar during a revisit to Pyakasa, a tiny dry city surrounded by plateau on a hinterland of Abuja where a feeding programme is underneath way.

On a days we are there, around 50 people, especially women and children, were queuing for lunch. We were told that for many of them, this would have been their biggest dish all week.

“The plea is to scale up, that’s where a work is cut out for a subsequent few years,” says Oscar. “I’m in it for a prolonged haul, as prolonged as there’s a value sequence of food there will always be food floating around.”

Food rubbish is a outrageous problem and this businessman has tellurian aspirations for his elementary solution.

He hopes that once it creates inroads in Nigeria and opposite Africa, it will go on to renovate a lives of people around a world.

This BBC array was constructed with appropriation from Bill Melinda Gates Foundation

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