African Moringa and Permaculture Project (AMPP)

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African Moringa and Permaculture Project (AMPP)

Kasankha Bay, Malawi
Year Founded:
2012
Organization type: 
hybrid
Project Stage:
Growth
Budget: 
$1,000 - $10,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

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

AMPP fights poverty, hunger and malnutrition in Malawi by promoting and establishing sustainable cottage industries and permaculture, with a focus on the highly nutritious Moringa Oleifera. The project is based at the heart of a rural lakeside community and works directly with community members.

About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

Over 50% of Malawians live in extreme poverty and unemployment is the norm. Each year brings round a time known as "the hunger season". Just under 50% of children suffer from stunted growth due to malnutrition & more have mineral & vitamin deficiencies leading to many cases of ocular, epidermal and follicle degenerations. Many Malawians walk miles daily to find fire wood and water. Bare, burned soils are eroded and depleted come the rain season.

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

Poverty: AMPP provides jobs & opportunities to develop sustainable value added businesses for ready markets. Our main focus is on producing Moringa powder for which we have found ready markets. AMPP also plans to develop value added products as well as commercialising fresh produce. Hunger: Permaculture mimics nature to create resilient agricultural systems and higher and more diverse yields, putting an end to the hunger season. Malnutrition:The highly nutritious leaves of the fast growing, drought resistant Moringa tree are widely used as a multivitamin food supplement, the seeds are pressed for oil and the seed-cake purifies water. Our Moringa will be interplanted with Gliricidia and Cajanus Cajan for fire wood and soil nutrients.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

Kelvin is the 3 year old son of a Malawian permaculture designer. As such he has had access to a wide variety of food, including Moringa, all his young life and is in great health. His father Eston is employed as a permaculture teacher. His mother Calo is studying nutrition. When Calo asks people how old they think her son is the answer is 5-6. They are shocked when told he is 3. People are so used to malnourished, stunted children that it has almost become the norm. Permaculture and Moringa can radically change the lives of entire families, providing economic and intellectual opportunities while eradicating hunger and malnutrition. AMPP wants to replicate Kelvin's story and provide similar opportunities to as many Malawians as possible.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

The project has been going for seven months and employs eleven people. All employees have been or will be trained in permaculture and making value added products (eg: jam, soap, dried fruit). Moringa and other trees have been planted in the village where AMPP operates. Community members in contact with us are planting home gardens and more trees. Land is being prepared and tree nurseries built for planting to begin in earnest next rain season with several thousand Moringa, fruit, fuel and soil building trees being planted in the community and on AMPP land. Community produce will be consumed locally and sold in Malawi with AMPP providing market linkages and processing facilities. AMPP has established favourable links with local hotels and farmer's markets for the sale of fruit, vegetables and value added products, providing opportunities for employment and cottage industry development.
Sustainability

Financial Sustainability Plan: What is this solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

As well as developing community cottage industries, AMPP will be growing its own Moringa trees and producing goods for sale on a larger scale. Market links have already been established to make this possible. AMPP operates with a revolving fund and profits will be reinvested to scale up our income generation. AMPP is training a Malawian, Sam Baluti, to replicate this model. We currently rely on donations and two small grants secured this year.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

Many organisations, big or small, (USAID, Trees for life) have limited scopes. AMPP's focus on commercial permaculture enables us to find solutions to a wide range of problems faced by our community over the long term, while our focus on Moringa targets immediate problems of malnutrition. AMPP believes in collaboration. We work with Kusamala to train community members in permaculture and African Agricultural Operations, a private company, to secure markets for Moringa. We have found untapped markets for which we have a comparative advantage thanks to our location and collaborative efforts.
Team

Founding Story

My first job in Malawi, early last year, was to establish a medicinal garden on a permaculture farm. That's where I first encountered the highly nutritious Moringa tree. It was quickly apparent that Moringa could help alleviate malnutrition in Malawi and that a market for Moringa products would be readily available. Having seen Eston, Calo and Kelvin succeed, it seemed obvious that permaculture and Moringa together, combined with a collaborative attitude, could put an end to malnutrition and hunger in Malawi and provide sustainable sources of income. The longer I am here the more I believe in what we are doing and that the successful future of such initiatives can only be achieved in a spirit of collaboration and mutual understanding.