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Project Stage:
$1,000 - $10,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

Faced with the problem of child malnutrition, coupled with the sparse economic resources of the women in her community, Marguerite has created a series of innovations based on the banana, the main crop of her native region of Tambacounda, in eastern Senegal. Using everything from the fruit to the skin, and combining it with other ingredients, her continuous experimentation around this crop has allowed the women of her village to emerge as banana knowledge entrepreneurs with a new income stream and new nutritive baby food.

About Project

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

Marguerite Thiaw has created a new baby food to reduce child malnutrition and increase the income of women producers in Senegal. After noting that the banana was the most widely available produce in her village, Marguerite decided that it must be possible to use this fruit beyond merely selling and consuming it in its raw form. So when her youngest child was suffering from malnutrition and chronic diarrhoea she had the idea to create a banana-based food product with close to the same nutrient values as the baby foods sold at large supermarkets and which her meagre income prevented her from buying for her child. Under the strictest hygiene conditions, she dried and peeled unripe bananas before grinding them into flour. She then put this flour to boil, and mixed it with milk and a small amount of sugar. She gave the resulting blend to her child, who day by day regained strength and returned to good health. The medical personnel under whose care he was also noticed the change and attributed it to this remedy. Propelled by this success, Marguerite called together the members of AFPROBAT, the association of women banana producers which she herself had founded a few years earlier for the aim of increasing economic cooperation, as well as political, economic and intellectual power among women banana producers. She shared with them her discovery and they all began using the remedy. She also shared with them other food products she had created from banana flour and banana skin, including a medicinal product for skin problems. Aware of the value of these new banana-based products, Marguerite and the other members of her organization decided to take the product to the commercialization stage by organizing at each stage of the value chain. The result has been the empowerment of women producers who now have a new source of revenue through their new identity as banana knowledge entrepreneurs.