Spirulina-enriched foods for the malnourished children of Central African Republic

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Spirulina-enriched foods for the malnourished children of Central African Republic

Central African Republic
Organization type: 
nonprofit/ngo/citizen sector
$1 million - $5 million
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

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

ICDI plans to set up a small scale spirulina-enriching food processing plant in Bangui in order to manufacture, distribute, and market nutritious food to combat malnutrition in Central African Republic.

About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

Central African Republic (CAR) is among the poorest countries of the world, ranking 179 out of the 182 countries in the United Nation’s 2009 Human Development Index. Home to an estimated 4 million people, 84 percent of whom live on less than USD $2 a day, CAR is a country devastated by almost twenty years of civil war. According to UNICEF, one in five children dies before their fifth birthday. Malnutrition remains a serious problem with 38% of the country’s children suffering from Global Chronic Malnutrition and 10% suffering from Global Acute Malnutrition. Only 31.5 percent of urban populations and 26 percent of rural populations have access to safe drinking water (Mercy Corps, 2008). Recent assessments conducted by UNICEF in three provinces – Mambéré Kadei, Sangha Mbaéré and Lobaye – revealed that 16 per cent of children under five are acutely malnourished, and 6.6 per cent are severely acutely malnourished, far above the emergency thresholds of 2 per cent for severe acute malnutrition and 15 per cent for global acute malnutrition nutrition.
About You
Integrated Community Development International (ICDI)
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Section 1: About You
First Name


Last Name



Integrated Community Development International (ICDI)

Section 2: About Your Organization
Organization Name

Integrated Community Development International (ICDI)

Organization Phone


Organization Address

ICDI PO BOX 247 Winona Lake, IN 46590

Organization Country
Your idea
Country your work focuses on
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What makes your idea unique?

Acute and severe malnutrition rates are above emergency thresholds in many regions of CAR, a country devastated by almost 20 years of civil war. Despite its poor nutrient content cassava remains the major staple food for a majority of Central African households. Imports of manufactured food commodities are expensive and counterproductive to local food processing initiatives. ICDI’ spirulina –based food processing project is designed to offer cheap local alternatives to high-protein foods for which poor households in CAR have limited access.

Do you have a patent for this idea?

What impact have you had?

ICDI has been helping farmers in CAR develop nutrition gardens and plant diverse crops such as soybeans, cowpea, and maize since 2004. Called the greenbelts cooperatives, this network of farmers has helped ICDI offer healthier food option to 15,000 beneficiaries made up of malnourished children, vulnerable pregnant or nursing women and HIV/AIDS patients in the urban centers of Bangui and Berberati. The services and products generated by this new project will address in an even more targeted manner the nutrition needs of countless rural and urban poor in CAR.


The project will be implemented as a joint venture between ICDI and Association Agro-piscole de NDRESS in three phases with specific activities.

Phase I: set up of the mini food processing plant
Establish partnership and sign agreement with Spirulina producers association
Establish a mini spirulina-enriched food processing plant in Bangui
Train ICDI Orphan Care health and nutrition staff on food processing techniques
Train ICDI Orphan Care health and nutrition staff on quality control of food products

Phase II: beginning production and distribution
Begin production of spirulina enriched foods
Train nutrition agents to promote the use of this processed food throughout CAR

Phase III: Distribution and marketing
Train nutrition agents in the marketing of spirulina-enirched food for income generation
Establish ICDI spirulina-enriched food kiosks in the Bangui and Berberati


After a 12-month implementation period, ICDI expects to measure the following results:
• 1 fully functional mini food processing plant established in Bangui
• 3 spirulina-enriched (pasta, rice, cassava) based foods developed approved for distribution and marketing
• At least 15,000 direct beneficiaries assisted by spirulina-enriched foods
• At least 15,000 indirect beneficiairies purchase and use the spirulina –enriched products
• The rates of acute and severe malnutrition in the direct beneficiary’s populations reduced by half the after one year of activity
• Income of beneficiaries involved in sales of spirulina-enriched food increased by 50%.

What will it take for your project to be successful over the next three years? Please address each year separately, if possible.

For the next three years, ICDI will need a total budget of $ 550,000 to mobilize needed expertise, purchase equipment and materials, enhance raw material production, manufacture, monitor and evaluate, distribute and market spirulina-enriched foods within CAR. Year 1: budget is estimated at $350,000, Year 2 and Year 3 at $100,000 each.

If granted financial resources to implement this project, ICDI will accomplish carry three most important actions:
Action 1: Setting up a mini food processing plant in Bangui
Action 2: Manufacturing spirulina-enriched foods
Action 3: Distributing and marketing spirulina-enriched foods to the malnourished people of CAR

What would prevent your project from being a success?

Despite the presence of a peacekeeping force, peace and political stability are still fragile in CAR. In an event of another political unrest, the country will experience severe setbacks in its efforts toward development. A project like what ICDI is proposing will indirectly be affected, as the ability to manufacture, distribute, and market its products will be compromised by the situation of insecurity.

How many people will your project serve annually?

More than 10,000

What is the average monthly household income in your target community, in US Dollars?

Less than $50

Does your project seek to have an impact on public policy?

What stage is your project in?

Idea phase

In what country?
Is your initiative connected to an established organization?

If yes, provide organization name.

Integrated Community Development International

How long has this organization been operating?

1‐5 years

Does your organization have a Board of Directors or an Advisory Board?


Does your organization have any non-monetary partnerships with NGOs?


Does your organization have any non-monetary partnerships with businesses?


Does your organization have any non-monetary partnerships with government?


Please tell us more about how these partnerships are critical to the success of your innovation.

ICDI is an implantation partner with International organization such as WFP, UNICEF, and USAID and numerous other organizations. This partnership is centered on logistics facilitation and sharing, expertise, and project implementation.

What are the three most important actions needed to grow your initiative or organization?

If granted financial resources to implement this project, ICDI engage in three most important actions:
Action 1: Setting up a mini food processing plant in Bangui
Action 2: Manufacturing spirulina-enriched foods
Action 3: Distributing and marketing spirulina-enriched foods to the malnourished people of CAR

The Story
What was the defining moment that led you to this innovation?

After the military coup d’état that toppled the Central Africa Republic government in 2003, the ensuing violence and lawlessness left thousands of families in desperate need of food, water and sanitation assistance. Compelled by the overwhelming needs surrounding him, Jim Hocking, ICDI’s founder, son of an American missionary who grew up and has spent most of his adult life in CAR decided to bring assistance to the people and land he loves. In 2004 he founded ICDI and launched the ambitious project of drilling wells to provide clean and safe water throughout CAR despite extreme conditions of insecurity. Parallel to well drilling, ICDI opened an Orphan Care center to welcome children orphaned by war and the rising HIV/AIDS pandemic. Orphans, widows and other categories of vulnerable people soon flocked to the center. Realizing that many beneficiaries were malnourished, ICDI developed several strategies to address their needs. A joint venture meeting with spirulina farmers last September 2009 in Bangui (CAR) led to the decision to establish a food processing unit that will manufacture healthy and nutritious foods to address more specifically the needs of the people ICDI is serving and offer to a general public new alternatives to costly imported food commodities.

Tell us about the social innovator behind this idea.

The social innovator behind this project is ICDI’s Agricultural Development Manager, Nanga Kaye. Originally from Chad, Central Africa, Mr Kaye has an advanced degree in agronomy and has worked in many African countries helping farmers improve the productivity of their fields through the adoption of sustainable practices. Kaye is currently helping ICDI design and implement an innovative agriculture program that makes the personal development of farmers the first priority of the organization while encouraging farmers to farm with purpose

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