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Young Kenyan innovator qualifies for U.S.-sponsored global science and technology competition

Published on March 07, 2019

Kenyan farmers are now able to protect their grain harvests from weevil attacks at a low cost thanks to Donatus Njoroge’s bio-pesticide innovation, the Molepse bio-resource. Donatus, who took second place in the USAID Hub-sponsored East Africa Postharvest Technologies Competition 2017 (EAPTC2017), produced the innovative bio-pesticide, which has repellent and toxic capabilities to kills pests that come into contact with it in less than five minutes. It is produced from four different plant materials. 

Donatus first produced the pesticide technology in 2015. He has since tested it with over one hundred farmers and the results have been impressive. It has enabled them reduce pest infestation and take control of health issues associated with synthetic pesticides. The harvesting, drying and extraction of the oils takes approximately one week; effectiveness of the applied oils starts immediately.

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Donatus recently qualified as one of the 24 finalists representing 18 countries at the Global Innovation through Science and Technology (GIST Tech-I 2019) as announced by the U.S. Department of State. The Tech-I Finalists will now undergo online training prior to flying to Bahrain to participate in the 2019 Global Entrepreneurship Congress (GEC). At GEC 2019, the finalists will receive two days of intensive entrepreneurial skills training, mentorship, and the opportunity to network with global leaders in their fields. The GIST Tech-I Finals will culminate in a live pitch before a panel of expert judges, to decide who will return home with capital seed prizes to help grow their business and change the world.

EAPTC 2017 managed by the Inter Region Economic Network (IREN) and supported by a grant from the USAID Hub, attracted over 200 innovators and researchers from East Africa. Find the finalists profiles here. Technology identification, promotion and investment are key areas of focus at the Hub.

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