All Things are Possible; Our 10-Year Vision

November 11th 2021.

As a startup, we have often been tempted to follow the approaches of other companies of playing safe, not doing the hard stuff, and confining our positive impact to Kenya. However, that is not the reason we formed Neruva. Most of you may not know what exactly we are building. Let me put it in simple terms; we envision a future where you can grow different crops and fish in a small land without using any form of chemicals or soil.

Imagine having a farming machine similar to the size and shape of a shipping container and being able to feed 50 people in America, Europe, or Asia with fish and crops. I am talking about uninterrupted farming the whole year while you earn double the revenue. I also want you to imagine having an uninterrupted life through a robot assisting you to feed the fish and monitor the crops through an app. That product is called an Ecocapsule. If you have a small land (fertile or infertile) which does not support meaningful food production for family use or commercial purpose then this product is for you.

After making version 1.0, we have begun to work on version 2.0 of the product. Although we are confident that we will complete it, our success is not only anchored on making money. Our mission is to transform each country to become a healthy food economy. Although I have to admit that it is not easy, however, “We choose to go to the Moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard” President John F. Kennedy. In that respect, we believe we can be able to transform each person on this planet by giving them the ability to have access to food that is not filled with chemicals.

In the current century, producing a large quantity of fresh food in a small land without chemicals is next to impossible. My future expectation is that many critics will question the necessity of the product and the effect of replacing people with a robot to feed the fish. On the issue of necessity, yes, the product is extremely important, especially when we consider Africa as a continent. Remember, Africa is the driest continent in the world where at least 45% of its landmass is in drylands. Those are not my words since you can find them on the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) website. With the increasing effects of climate change because of the failure of the richest countries to reduce their carbon emissions, our ability to produce food competitively is reducing each year. 

As a strategy to protect our future, we need to quickly adopt a technology that does not rely on rain, is affordable, and can produce a large quantity of food in a small land without using any form of chemicals or soil. Our current prices are not affordable to most Africans, but we have a plan. On the issue of having a robot to feed the fish, it is an integral part of empowering and improving the skill set in Africa, let me explain. Employing people to feed the fish is not a process of empowerment. Real empowerment in the current context would be to train people on soft robotic skills. Instead of feeding the fish, Neruva could employ people with low education skills and train them on robotics. Remember, we are competing against the rest of the world. Apart from changing the way we do farming, we believe we can exponentially improve the level of skills in Africa and favorably compete with the advanced countries. Therefore, when you buy an Ecocapsule, you not only revolutionize farming but also transform Africa to be a continent with the largest pool of hard-to-find skills.

In the next 10 years, we envision at least 1 million units being owned by 1 million Africans. That is not a small deed; I do not doubt it can be achieved. In that context, we need to expand our production facility, form strategic partnerships with investors, suppliers, and our customers, and educate more people about our technology. During that timeline, the price of each unit would be equivalent to buying an affordable motorbike. We have seen how Safaricom has transformed from its early days when airtime cost Ksh.1000, to now where you can buy it as low as Ksh.5. As a matter of course, we are always looking for people who are crazy, super smart, and talented to work with us in realizing that vision. The 10-year vision is not achievable if we do not have the right people working on different problems.

Looking at our future, it does not matter what the critics say regarding possible and impossible things. What matters is that we believe in ourselves. After completing version 1.0, we have learned that we can do anything in this life and all things are possible (that is our slogan). Although we sometimes face hard problems, we continue to push ourselves harder beyond any limits. I strongly believe that if Africa embraces this vision, no gloomy future outlook will beat us down! We have just begun an interstellar flight.

Kevin Bett
Background. I am the CEO and product architect of Neruva. My primary responsibility is to be the chief campaigner for the company. As a product architect, I focus on coming up with new product ideas, designing them, and developing its specifications and vision to meet the needs of our customers.