Patience Koenig of Liberia wins Global Impact Challenge at The Youth Assembly in New York City

Patience is a young Liberian lady who grew up loving Agriculture, as her father was an Agriculturist. According to Patience, her father did not accomplish all he wanted to, therefore, she would pick up from where he stopped and accomplish the dream.
Patience won the Global Impact Challenge at this year’s Youth Assembly held in New York City, USA, the 25th Youth Assembly.

She discussed challenges facing Africa, in this case, Liberian farmers, and what impact she can make to help solve those challenges. Through her business, PK Eco Storage, which seeks to provide solar powered storage facilities for fruits and vegetables for farmers. She pitched her idea on how she can aid farmers in Liberia store their fruits and vegetables in the Red Light market in Liberia.


The challenges / Her concern
As an Agriculturist, Patience has been concerned about two major challenges farmers face in her home country, Liberia. These two major problems are Transportation and Storage. Because of these challenges, about 80% of farmers’ yields go to waste before food stuff such as fruits and vegetables [especially] can reach the market.

TRANSPORTATION
Farmers in Liberia face the challenge of transporting their produce (fruits and vegetables) from farm to market. One major reason for this is bad road condition in the country, especially rural Liberia. As a result of bad roads, most times it takes many days to complete a journey from the farms to the markets. Food stuff get spoiled during those many days of travel.

Proposed Solution

Patience discussed that she would build mini mobile storage facilities that can be attached to vehicles commuting between farms and markets. The farmers can keep fruits, vegetables and other kinds of products that have short life span. This will help to preserve the food as they travel along the way.

STORAGE

Another major challenge farmers face in Liberia is lack of storage facilities. After losing a significant portion of their yield along the farm – market route, farmers lose even more when they finally get the produce to the market. Most times, they do not get bought in a day. There comes the issue of storing the left overs to be sold the next day. There are no storage facilities. Food stuff endure the hot, scorching sun during the day and be left to the mercy of the humidity of the night time. This leads to spoilage on the grounds of the market.

Proposed Solution

To solve the issue of storage, Ms. Koenig discussed that she would provide huge cold storage facilities within the Red Light Market in Monrovia, which happens to be the major market in Urban Liberia. These facilities can be used by the farmers to store their produce ( fruits and vegetables) upon arriving in the market. This, she said, would help preserve the food and allow farmers to sell fresh food stuff the following days and gain from their labor.

About Global Impact Challenges

Global Impact Challenges (GICs) are incentive competitions organized by partners in countries around the world to identify innovative startups & solutions using exponential technology to solve the world’s pressing challenges.

Applicants must meet the following eligibility requirements: Be at least 21 years of age and be fluent in spoken and written English.

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