With support from the African Development Bank, Soupah Kitchen & Grocery Technology Company, a woman-led agribusiness based in Ibadan, Nigeria, is unlocking innovative solutions to climate change to advance the continent’s energy transition.
The Global Centre on Adaptation, and its Africa Adaptation Acceleration Program is also supporting Soupah Kitchen, which uses resource-smart technology to control the environment for growing lettuce, kale, leafy green, and herbs.
The start-up produces cheaper and healthier vegetables through hydroponics on Ibadan rooftops than those grown on rural farms.
Ifeloluwa Olatayo, Soupah Kitchen’s CEO, was among 15 winners of the 2021 African Youth Adaptation Solutions Challenge organized by the AAAP, a joint initiative of the African Development Bank and the Global Center on Adaptation.
Speaking about the technology, Olatayo said, “Our resource-smart technology is designed to grow up to three tonnes of fresh food within a 650 square-meter area. It will enhance the urban landscape and improve the air quality in our cities.”
She added that Soupah Kitchen farms could sustainably plant with 95% less water than traditional farms without chemical fertilizers. Yields from the company’s farm are 30% larger than those of conventional farms and are produced in half the time.
Using vertical hydroponic technology, Soupah Kitchen can cultivate 1,600kg of vegetables within a 26-day cycle.
Africa is highly vulnerable to climate change, and its impacts—flooding, droughts, cyclones, sea-level rise– are already driving shifts in how Africans grow food, live, and earn their livelihoods.
Yet, most of the climate funding for the continent goes toward climate mitigation rather than adaptation. This is a problem, partly because adaptation creates well-paying jobs and diversifies economies, strengthening societal resilience. Agriculture is one sector where adaptation promises immense potential.