Nigerian invents app to stop food wastage

A Nigerian tech entrepreneur, Oscar Ekponimo, has developed an application to help solve the problem of food inequality.

With the help of the software he calls Chowberry, less-privileged people are connected to supermarket food that would ordinarily end up in the bin.

Ekponimo’s extremely modest childhood, where he had to stay without food for days, motivated this invention.

Now 35 retailers, NGOs (non-government organisations) and other organisations in Nigeria have already been taken up the idea.

“We have a system on this app that allows retailers to put information about products that are about to expire,” he told the BBC.

“These products are deeply discounted because the products are reaching the end of their shelf life.

“The food would ordinarily be thrown away by the retailers, but with our system, they have a way of saving their losses.

“At the same time, NGOs are able to take this food at a very reasonable price and acquire more food for distribution.”

Currently, anyone can order food at a discount online, although there are 15 charities with priority access who are able to order larger quantities.

Chowberry has a list of their preferences and sends them updates when it receives the type of food the charities need for their food distribution programmes.

“We started feeding about 40 people, but then the community kept growing. Now we feed them and neighbouring communities – about 200 people every Sunday,” Thrifty Slayer owner of an NGO that buys discounted products for its food distribution programmes through the Chowberry app.

“As the numbers of people, we feed increased we started to look for ways to keep our costs low. The good thing about partnering with Chowberry is the availability of food in the quantities we need them.”

UN figures show over 14 million people in Nigeria are classified as undernourished.