70% of rural households in Tanzania raise chickens. These families raise chickens as a source of supplemental income, food, and improved financial security. They use their flock like a bank account and cash in chickens to pay expenses when needed. However, most families are limited by small flocks and slow flock growth. Using hens to raise new birds limits their egg income and can risk the hen’s health, so they often choose not to. A reliable and affordable chicken egg incubator can dramatically increase household income by at least 30 USD per month for families with an average household income of 130 USD per month, but this requires a consistent source of power that many families lack.
As part of Stanford’s Design for Extreme Affordability 2017 course, we took on this challenge and developed the Kukua egg incubator which uses 70% less power than an incubator of comparable size and cost. Through mutual partnership with distributed solar power companies, Kukua enables stable growth of otherwise volatile family income by making at-home artificial chicken egg incubation affordable and viable.
Right now Kukua development is at a critical stage. While supporting ourselves by other means, we have completed several years of need finding, prototyping, and pilot testing, and we now have two customers (large solar home system and microgrid companies) who wish to purchase units and scale Kukua through their established distribution channels. Before pressing “go” on these opportunities, we need to conduct final validation tests to ensure that the design is ready. These tests must be done systematically, under careful supervision, and with local Tanzanian chicken breeds.
What will the money fund?
Your help will allow two of our team members, Nick and Amy, to quit their day jobs and move to Arusha, Tanzania for 3 months (or more if we can stretch it) to work with our Tanzanian team and partners as we prepare to launch this product.
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