Incubator Programme in Africa

BoP Markets

In Africa, entrepreneurial producer organizations and local small-sized enterprises that trade and process farmer produce allow for the development of base of the pyramid (BoP) products and markets. All products that are sourced from these farmers find their way to local and regional markets for BoP consumers. Many of these regions see a huge lack of nutritional food, so by supporting these clusters, access to nutritious food is improved for approximately 1 million BoP consumers.

2SCALE´s goal is to better the livelihoods of 750.000 farmers through training of agricultural practices and increased negotiation skills, while simultaneously boosting access to nutritious food for the one million Bottom of the Pyramid consumers in Africa. Inclusive business chains are employed in this effort. 


2SCALE is an incubator program that works on creating and managing public-private partnerships for inclusive business in agri-food sectors and industries. They currently operate in eight countries situated in sub-Saharan Africa, namely; Ethiopia, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Mali, Nigeria, Burkina Faso and Niger. 2SCALE is implemented by a consortium of state agencies and IOs/NGOs, as for example the BoP Innovation Center (BoPInc) and the International Fertilizer Development Center (IFDC). Funding is made possible by the department of inclusive Green Growth of the Directorate General of International Cooperation of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs.


The way in which their program functions is that they focus on establishing agribusiness clusters and value chains built around business champions. These champions are either entrepreneurial producer organizations or local small and medium-sized enterprises that either trade or process the produce provided by farmers

2SCALE wants to scale over 60 of its public-private partnerships and promote inclusive and innovative agribusiness strategies with 5000 farmer producer organizations, of whom 50% are headed by women. They focus on four main agricultural sectors; protein and animal products (eg. milk and eggs), staple crops ( eg, rice, cassava and maize), fresh produce (eg, onions, potatoes and local leafy vegetables) and oilseeds (eg. soy and groundnut).

Scouting suitable renewable frugal technologies

From November 2020 onwards, a team of students from CFIA’s minor Frugal Innovation for Sustainable Global Development (FI4SGD) follow an internship at the organisation as part of the 2SCALE Innovation Agenda. The goal is to promote and facilitate the sustainable adoption of innovations among agri-food value chain actors in 2SCALE partnerships. These innovations solve pressing problems in the smallholder farmer value chains, contributing to better quantity and quality of produce, in light of the changing climate. Here 2SCALE aims for the following program outputs: 60 partnerships that successfully implement their inclusive business models along the agrifood value chains- 50 off-farm innovations that increase value chain efficiency or generate new products in the partnerships. 375,000 hectares with on-farm innovations that promote eco-efficient agricultural practices exchanged or acquired via the partnerships.


Frugal Innovation aspect and objectives

The student team believes that frugal innovation aspects are important for the success of the results. It has become clear that in order for new technology or innovation to be adopted and implemented into the value chains of the 2SCALE partnerships they need to be frugal since the smallholders do not have the time and money to spend on expensive and hard to use devices/technologies. 

Alongside using 2SCALEs criteria as their first and foremost method for evaluating innovations, two additional frameworks aid the team in scouting and screening suitable technologies for 2SCALE’s partnerships, as they share some similarities with the criteria used by 2SCALE.

Finding frugal and sustainable technology will allow for higher and stronger yields which in turn allows for increased economic benefits as well as nutritional value for not only the farmers and their families but also the communities they operate in. These inclusive green innovations will promote food security and allow for the inclusion of women as farmers and entrepreneurs. 

The team will deliver 10 frugal innovations that tackle agricultural sustainability and development issues at the end of the internship. 

Project Team 2020-2021

Samwel Tobiko - Digital Innovation Specialist
Alhassan Issahaku
Roald Klumpenaar

Student Research Team
Laura Gaerdner (International Relations and Organizations - Leiden University)
Sushruta Kokkula (International Relations and Organizations - Leiden University)
Alexandra Knight (Urban Studies - Leiden University)

Academic Supervisor
Greetje Schouten - CFIA's Agrofood Domain Developer