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Tanzanian agritech start-up NovFeed eyes global goal

By , Africa editor
Africa , Tanzania , 09 Jun 2023
NovFeed founders Otaigo Elisha and Diana Orembe.
NovFeed founders Otaigo Elisha and Diana Orembe.

Global growth is on the agenda for Tanzanian agritech start-up, NovFeed, after garnering recognition from Milken-Motsepe foundations with its win of a $1 million grand prize in an agritech competition, earlier this year.

NovFeed founders Otaigo Elisha and Diana Orembe, who accepted the award from Milken-Motsepe foundations in the US, say the company will focus on globally scaling its business. The duo believe their technology can transform the food industry.

“We are excited to see how it can help to feed the world sustainably,” Elisha tell ITWeb Africa in an interview.

NovFeed, a biotech company, was awarded the $1 million grand prize for its proprietary technology to upcycle organic waste into nutritious, sustainable, and traceable plant-based protein ingredients and concentrated natural bio-fertilizers for the food system.

Incorporated in 2020, NovFeed has developed a ‘cutting-edge biotechnological platform’, which leverages natural microbes and industrial biotech to convert organic waste into highly concentrated protein products. 

NovFeed achieves this by focusing on customisable inputs, and caters to the aquaculture sector, enabling farmers in that sector to produce high-quality fish while increasing profitability.

Elisha says winning the Milken-Motsepe AgriTech Prize sets NovFeed apart from others in the industry and highlights the company’s ‘pioneering approach to addressing the critical challenge of converting organic waste into valuable protein ingredients’.

He adds that this award now afforded NovFeed the resources and recognition it needs to scale its business and ‘make a real impact’ globally.

“With the help of the Milken-Motsepe agritech prize, we will be able to expand our operations, develop new products, and reach more customers.”

Elisha and Orembe are excited about NovFeed traction, saying there is growing acceptance and adoption of its technology.

“We are witnessing an increasing number of stakeholders recognising the immense potential and benefits of our biotechnological platform. The positive feedback and interest from the aquaculture sectors have been truly exhilarating,” says Elisha.

In addition, he says: “We have already signed contracts with one animal feed manufacturer in Tanzania, and we are in talks with other potential customers in Africa and Asia.

“We believe that our technology has the potential to transform the food industry, and we are excited to see how it can help to feed the world sustainably.”

As Elisha and the team gear for an aggressive expansion plan, he says: “NovFeed anticipates significant growth in the coming years. With the global demand for sustainable food solutions rising, our company is well positioned to exploit this trend.

“We plan to expand our operations, develop new products, forge strategic partnerships, and scale our technology to meet the evolving needs of the food industry.”

As the NovFeed growth plan unfolds, Elisha says his team isn’t naïve to assume an easy path, because they operate in a dynamic market with several competitors.

“While we respect the contributions of our peers, our unique biotechnological approach and focus on customisable protein inputs give us a competitive edge. We remain vigilant and continuously innovate to maintain our position as a frontrunner in the agritech sector,” he says.

Elisha says that NovFeed serves a diverse range of clients within the aquaculture sectors. “We focus first on feed manufacturers, because they have equipment for animal feed production, experience, credibility and reach in the animal feed industry, as well as a large customer base of farmers.”

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