Eamonn McGuinty

M.Sc. Candidate

I have been fortunate to take on the role of marketing, outreach and commercialization of the Sustainable Agriculture Kits (SAKs) with the University of Guelph. Manish Raizada has been instrumental in guiding me through his vision for the project and how I can bring entrepreneurial aspects to the project. My role will consist but will not be limited to scaling up agricultural innovations in rural Nepal. I will be looking the scientific assessment of the low-cost products and assess the business operations and market potential. Given that most of the farming in Nepal is terraced into steep hillsides and increasingly being performed by women involving intensive and backbreaking labour, we are working to assist them by providing Sustainable Agriculture Kits. This is innovative in a way that we are mobilizing low-cost sustainable tools, which typically cost $1 or less, to tens of thousands of vulnerable hillside and terrace farmers in Nepal. Later in my research and development stage, I will be looking for ways to develop an effective assessment protocol, explore brand loyalty and the effectiveness of marketing strategies, and find ways to calculate not only the return on investment (ROI) but also the social return on investment (SROI). I will be in constant contact with academia and industry for feedback and coaching on the commercial aspect of the kits. My thesis will help inform the global community in their efforts to improve the adoption of scientific technologies aimed at empowering the world’s 1.1 billion subsistence farmers.

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