Food Cycle

Food Cycle: Nutrition for Slum Dwellers

Dhaka, BangladeshDhaka, Bangladesh
Year Founded:
Organization type: 
Project Stage:
$10,000 - $50,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

Every year there is a vast overproduction/discard of vegetables(mainly: spinach, cauliflowers, tomatoes, eggplants and potatoes) in Bangladesh which is wasted.These vegetables in specific can be combined to make lowcost Nutrifeed for slumdwellers. Thousand deaths due to malnutrition can be avoided.

WHAT IF - Inspiration: Write one sentence that describes a way that your project dares to ask, "WHAT IF?"

What if we could channel every bit of extra food instantly to the tables of those who don't have food to eat
About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

Around 40% of the population of Bangladesh suffers from some form of malnutrition. Chronic energy deficiency, iodine deficiency, night blindness, anaemia are present more acutely among slum dwellers due to lack of proper nutrition and nutritional knowledge.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

Use the overproduced: spinach, cauliflowers, tomatoes, eggplants and potatoes to make Nutrifeed. The above vegetables are overproduced but they contain the nutrients required to address the diseases/conditions mentioned in the problem section. On top of that the slum people will get a packaged Nutrifeed that has ingredients in proper quantities to ensure right nutrition. The overproduced vegetables are currently wasted, they can be purchased at a very low price and sold to the slumdwellers at a low price as well.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

A child Rahima is born into a slum. Her parents have little or no education. What they primarily consume is rice, occasionally with another side dish. They believe just eating will ensure good health. We can educate them about nutrition but that would not ensure consumption of the right diet. But "foodcycle" can procure overproduced vegetables at low cost and make NutriFeed for the slumdwellers at a low cost . The most important purchase decision criteria is cost, for the slum dwellers. Rahima gets to hear about "NutriFeed" from the "foodcycle" s roadshow on Nutrition. And due to the low price, her parents are able to purchase NutriFeed. And thus the nutrition to the family is ensured.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

Small clusters of slums will be targeted initially. On the other side, tantamount overproduced vegetables will be bought. Upon reaching to 100 slum families in first quarter. We would move to other clusters and reach 1000 slum dwelling families. Nutritional awareness campaigns would continue throughout the year. Once the market is convinced of the nutritional values of NutriFeed more slums will be targeted and excess requirement of vegetables will be sourced from farmers directly eliminating long middle man supply chain. 1000 families have around 6000 people. 80% of the slum dwellers are suffering from some form of malnutrition. With the low cost nutrifeed approximately 4000 out of the 4800 malnutritioned people can be cured or prevented from diseases. This is the target for first year.

Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact?

Commencement would be done in one single cluster of a slum. In year one 1000 families will be reached with our low cost NutriFeed. Upon success, steady expansion will be done to ensure the coverage of 10 million slum dweller population in Dhaka city in 10 years. Road shows will be used to expand to new slums. Positive results in one slum will spill over onto other slums. Hence, around 6 milliion people can be pulled out of malnutrition and minimum of 500 thousand lives saved at the end of 10 year period. Pulling people out of malnutrition will boost their productivity and thus income as well.

Financial Sustainability Plan: What is this solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

The initial capital include leasing fees for cold storage($3000) and a van($4000). For the first year 1000 families are targeted, 30 tons of vegetables will be required each month. But the overproduction will take place at winter and at the end of summer. Thus 6x30tons=180tons of mixed vegetable will be purchased at $18,000( @ $0.1/kg ). The mixed vegetable will be sold at $0.3 1kg daily packs. Giving a half yearly gross profit $36,000.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

The discarded and overproduced food does find its way to the slumdwellers eventually. But through a long supply chain that increases the prices 4 times the original. and as they are not packaged(sold individually) they do not ensure right nutrient content. FoodCycle ensures the right nutrient ingredients and at a low cost due to sourcing from overproduced and discarded(due to small size, shape etc) vegetables.

Founding Story

I have been seeing this huge wastage of vegetables every year. They are left to rot and often eventually used as improvised fertilizers. I have also seen slum dwellers suffering from myriad of diseases originating from malnutrition(iron, potassium, vitamins etc deficiency). This decreases their productivity and thus their income. They are driven further down into poverty. But if these two negative incidents can be connected, they make a match that brings positive change in people's lives/


I am the initiator of the idea. I am a final year business students majoring in finance and marketing. I have worked extensively with NGOs in developmental sector. This gives me the institutional and practical knowledge to see this plan through. Experts from nutrition and food science and also logistics will be included in the team before the plan initiates.
About You
About You
First Name


Last Name


About Your Project
Organization Name
How long has your organization been operating?

Organization Country

, Dhaka

Country where this project is creating social impact

, Dhaka

What awards or honors has the project received?
Funding: How is your project financial supported?

Friends and family, NGOs, Businesses, Regional government.


Improving Nutrition, Waste and Packaging.

Audience: Who have you identified as your customer/recipient groups and do these groups value your solution for different reasons? How do you engage different customer/recipient groups to deliver your solution?

The plan was engineered with full participation of the slum dwellers(target market). Focused group discussions and qualitative survey has been done for product demand and purchase pattern identification. The solution is tailored to their priority and convenience.

Scaling the solution: How would the prize money and publicity help you to achieve your objectives over the next two years?

The prize money will definitely give me the impetus to initiate the operation. Since it's the pecuniary issue that's stopping me from commencing this beneficial yet profitable venture. And the publicity will help me attract more companies/donors who would aid in monetary/non monetary ways to reach the objectives of this social business

Experience: Please provide examples of any previous entrepreneurial initiatives you have pioneered

"Deerville" is a deer farm that uses natural breeding practices and provides venison as a protein alternative for the health conscious people.
"Onno" is a slum is a slum dwellers' awareness campaign firm that is hired by NGOs to spread messages to slumswellers.

These two entrepreneurial activities that I have pioneered had proved to be successful

Are you are eligible to attend the Accelerator event in Cambridge and subsequent events in London, UK in January, 2015?


Will you require a visa to enter the UK?


Are you are a current Unilever employee?