Old Fridges, New Futures: Waste-Tek’s Automated Incubators Built to Enhance Agricultural Sustainability

Entrepreneurial Action, Us (Enactus)  is an international not-for-profit organisation that brings together students, academics, and business leaders who have made strong commitments towards improving the quality of life through entrepreneurship.

Enactus also focuses on blending entrepreneurial solutions with social and environmental impact.

Enactus exists in universities around the world and has, over the years, been empowering students to apply their business and economic knowledge to develop projects that address various social, economic, and environmental challenges.

An additional important feature for Enactus is that all products innovated through these projects are designed to create sustainable impact and empower communities to become self-sufficient.

Enactus teams typically participate in regional, national, and international competitions where they showcase their projects and compete for recognition and support. Enactus projects cover a wide range of areas, including education, environmental sustainability, economic development, and the empowerment of marginalised communities.

The ultimate aim of this competition and gathering of like-minded people is to help students become socially responsible business leaders and make a positive difference in the world by applying their entrepreneurial skills to address pressing social challenges. 

The Enactus team at the C.K. Tedam University for Technology and Applied Science (CKT-UTAS) in Kassena-Nankana Municipality of the Upper East Region, Ghana, has won the national competition three times in a row.

According to Team Lead, David Amoak, it is a matter of consistency, sacrifice, and dedication to learning. 

Recently, the CKT-UTAS Enactus Team represented Ghana at the World Cup. 

At the World Cup, the team presented two projects, Waste Tech and EcoHack. 

In this article, we will give more insight into Waste-Tek, an ingenious hack that converts e-waste into poultry incubators, offering a solution that empowers poultry farmers to enhance their productivity and income. 

Techpreneurinsider.com has been interacting with David Amoak, Team Lead for Enactus CKT-UTAS. Here’s what he’s had to say:

Give us an overview of the project

Waste-tek is a groundbreaking initiative that aims to empower poultry farmers through the conversion of e-waste (fridges) into poultry prosperity. The idea behind Waste-Tek was inspired by the reality of the northern part of Ghana. Despite their dedication, a significant number of poultry farmers in this region still live below the poverty line. Waste-tek provides low-cost incubators to enable them to scale up production.

Tackling critical challenges facing society is the pivot around which Waste-tek was conceived. We have addressed at least eight Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs):

  • SDG 1: No poverty
  • SDG 2: Zero hunger
  • SDG 3: Good health and well-being
  • SDG 7: Affordable and clean energy
  • SDG 8: Decent work and economic growth
  • SDG 9: Industry, innovation, and infrastructure
  • SDG 17: Partnership for the goals

What are some of the technical details of the project?

Our incubators come in two varieties: manual and automatic. Manual incubators are less expensive and do not involve IoT technology or any form of software. Automatic incubators allow for egg turning automatically and incorporate microprocessors that enable incubators to be connected to mobile phones using the internet. This allows farms to monitor the temperature and humidity levels of the incubators even when they are far from their farm. Our incubators are very affordable, and we are committed to sensitising farmers who purchase our products to enable them to maximize their usage.

What level of social impact do you envisage Waste-tek would have?

Waste-Tek has made an unimaginable impact on people’s lives. We have created 422 jobs, serving 82 cooperatives and touching the lives of at least 165 farmers each. We have raised the daily wages of farmers by an impressive 30%. Our incubators can also be provided to farmers on credit, with the option of paying in installments. Waste-Tek has truly empowered local communities within China, Navrongo, Paga, and more, with notable stories like that of Kojo, a poultry farmer who has surged to prominence in just a few years of collaborating with Waste-Tek.

How does this project deal with environmental concerns?

E-waste is a worldwide challenge, contributing massively to global warming and climate change. Ghana’s waste is on the rise, with a worrying 12% annual increment. Recycling e-waste will prevent the release of 100,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions.

Collaboration and Partnership

The success of any great initiative depends to some extent on networks and collaborations, and Waste-Tek has been instrumental in achieving this. We are in partnership with Fidelity Bank, Republic Bank, Total Energies, Recycle Up Ghana, and the National Entrepreneurship and Innovation Plan. These partners have been supportive in expanding our project and participating in events like the World Cup, especially Fidelity and Republic Bank. We are open to more partnerships, be it with individuals or cooperative bodies. We are establishing collaborations with Enactus Germany and India.

What are some of your current challenges?

We currently face the challenge of expansion and are actively seeking more partners to scale up. E-waste is sometimes scarce, and the team innovates using plywood and car tires.

Future Plans and Scalability

Waste-tek’s future looks promising as we plan to enhance our IoT infrastructure, aiding in determining hatch-worthy eggs and vaccinating new chicks. We are expanding our reach beyond borders to countries like Togo, Burkina Faso, and Ivory Coast.

Community Engagement and Education

The Enactus CKT-UTAS team is committed to making a difference, and education is crucial. We create spaces to train farmers on the usage of our incubators, addressing the challenges posed by e-waste, as well as conducting seminars to engage students on entrepreneurship and the future.

In conclusion, the Enactus initiative stands as a beacon of hope and transformation, bringing together passionate students, academic scholars, and business leaders dedicated to enhancing the quality of life through entrepreneurship. It would take greater partnership to help these young individuals succeed. 

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