How Kenya’s Neruva Technologies’ ecocapsules are bringing food production to urban markets

As with most cities, consumers in Kenya’s capital of Nairobi eat food predominantly sourced from semi-urban or rural locations, which are more abundant in farmland.

In Kenya, there’s another factor weighing on those logistical challenges: food production stagnation. Currently, food supply from within the country is not meeting demand. Around 20 million people living in parts of the Horn of Africa, Kenya, Ethiopia, and Somalia, are said to be severely food insecure. Further, 3.1 million people in Kenya’s arid and semi-arid regions are facing acute food insecurity.

To try and mitigate these challenges, Kevin Bett, a financial engineer passionate about agriculture, started Neruva Technologies with two co-founders. The Kenyan startup’s core mission is to bring food production closer to consumers by leveraging indoor farming technology.

“We believe that instead of primarily relying on food production happening far away from the consumers, we can actually bring it to them with our product called the Ecocapsule.” ‘Ecocapsules’ are modified 40-foot shipping containers that allow for the simultaneous breeding of fish and cultivation of crops such as lettuce and basil.

Initially, Neruva started out as an aquaculture startup but expanded to broader controlled environment agriculture (CEA) units after learning how they could integrate fish farming and crop growing on one system. The co-founders’ backgrounds played out well as one hails from a fish farming family, while the others came from crop farming families.

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