Share the story of the founder and what inspired the founder to start this project
We are Malian citizens that grew up in Ethiopia, Cameroon, and Niger and attended university in France and the United States. Our dad worked for the UN as a food security expert so we had early exposure to the challenges and opportunities facing agriculture in Africa. We were fortunate enough to receive a quality education and our parents constantly reminded us at that giving back to the less fortunate members of our community should be second nature.
We have built strong grassroots knowledge and an appreciation for how local communities live and work through volunteering, interning, and working for organizations such United Nations Women’s Association in Ethiopia, the Food and Agriculture Organization in Niger, the Women Opportunity Resource Center in Philadelphia, and Tambaroua Business Farming (tambaroua.com), our family farm in Mali.
2008 will be remembered for profound financial crises and a historic election. However, from the West Indies to India, it will also be remembered for the riots fueled by surging food prices. During a field visit to one of Mali’s most fertile regions, we witnessed the wastage of thousands of tons of rice due to obsolete storage and processing facilities. Not only were farmers unable to consume the rice they harvested, they were in debt to individuals who provided them with seeds and fertilizer. Initially, we designed a plan to make rice a source of wealth for small-scale farmers. However, when we learned we could simultaneously make the world’s most consumed staple food a source of good health—we found our raison d’être.