The University of California (UC) Davis Big Bang! Business Competition provides a forum for innovators to collaborate as they develop and test business ideas.
Badaye Technologies Limited participated in the UC Davis Big Bang! Business Competition March through May 2023 and was selected to the finals. Congratulations! The team at Badaye Technologies Limited won two prize awards: Food + Agriculture Sector Award (worth $10,000), and Energy + Sustainability Sector Award (Worth $10,000). Speaking to Mohamad Oceger, Chief Executive Officer at Badaye Technologies Limited, he said “We are a Ugandan company located at Nansana Kyebando Jupiter Estate. We are grateful for the funding from the government of the Republic of Uganda through Makerere University Research and Innovations Fund, United States Agency for International Development through ResilientAfrica Network (RAN) among other funders. Without this SEED funding and initial support, we would not have been in position to leverage an opportunity to get out here and even participate in the UC Davis Big Bang! Business Competition”.
What drives the Badaye Technologies Limited team is the urge to “transform agriculture in Africa, one machine at a time”. How it started: As an undergraduate at Makerere University completing an internship at Iowa State University – Uganda Program (ISU-UP) in eastern Uganda, UC Davis biological systems engineering Ph.D. candidate Ismael Mayanja observed the laborious, time-consuming processes that smallholder farmers and maize processors used to clean harvested maize grain, with sub-optimal results. Knowing there had to be a better, affordable alternative to screening, hand sorting and winnowing the maize, he designed a prototype for a seed cleaner that operates through a simple pedal system and requires no electricity or fuel.
Today, Mayanja and Isaac Oluk, a doctoral student in environmental engineering at the University of Kentucky, are co-founders of a fabrication company Badaye Technologies Ltd. (BTL), based in Kampala, Uganda. Our vision is to develop innovative solutions that address the unique challenges faced by farmers and processors in Uganda and beyond. We want a transition to a future where no agricultural food is lost in Africa, one that is powered by autonomous, clean and transformative AgTech built in Uganda.
Badaye Technology Limited’s flagship product, the SUNSULA, uses rotary sieves to efficiently clean maize in seconds and produce quality grain for safe and longer storage, easy processing into other foods, and healthy consumption. It is customizable, offering smallholders in rural areas a pedal-powered mechanism with low initial and maintenance costs, and urban maize processors a motorized option, available in three sizes.
Excitingly, BTL brought home (to Uganda, the Pearl of Africa) the Food + Agriculture Sector Award—primary sponsor: HM.CLAUSE; supporting sponsor: UC Davis Innovation Institute for Food and Health—and the Energy + Sustainability Sector Award, primary sponsor: SMUD and supporting sponsor Reza Bayati MD. The startup will use the prize money to provide SUNSULA training and product demonstrations to smallholder farmers in remote areas of Uganda.
Currently, the SUNSULA equipment is being used by farmers in Eastern Uganda specifically Kamuli District (one of Uganda’s biggest maize growing community). The team anticipates selling 100 SUNSULA machines over the next year. In five years BTL plans to expand its product line to include a model that can simultaneously clean seeds of different sizes in addition to maize grain, and also build a suite of product lines in the postharvest handling chain for several agricultural foods.
Compiled by: Mohamad Oceger, Chief Executive Officer at Badaye Technologies Limited.
Edited by: Harriet Adong, Communications Officer at Mak-RIF.