Tell us about the social impact of your innovation. Please include both numbers and stories as evidence of this impact
Until 2007, there were no commercial Moringa plantations in Ghana. As MOCAMP came on the scene, Moringa growing belts covering 100,000 acres have been established in five regions in Ghana, with 300,000 farmers of which 250,000 are women. Through our free Agricultural consultancy, 100,000 vegetable farmers have started using moringa leaf extract which increased their agricultural yields resulting in a corresponding increase of about 300% in their incomes. The success of using moringa products to fight iron deficiency anaemia in children in the Philippines and malnutrition in Senegal and other African countries has been documented which is helping our cause to get people to resort to our branded Moringa Oleifera Fortified Food (MOFF™) products. In 2008, 200,000 Early Adopters of the Moringa leaf powder, who were mainly pregnant women, children and the elderly, were recorded and to date 450,000 of such people have been recorded. 10MT of Moringa Leaf Powder or 200,000 units of 50g worth $200,000.00 were sold or distributed free in 2008 and the same quantity in 2009. Testimonials from these people and others indicated that they were satisfied with the products and were willing to patronize them for their complete well being. We joined the food fortification campaign of the Ministry of Health using moringa to fortify some major staples like maize, cassava and vegetable oil. Between 2008 and 2009, 2MT of fortified foods worth $100,000 were produced experimentally and distributed free to NGOs and needy communities. As our products are gaining acceptance and people are resorting to fortified foods and food supplements, we are modernising and expanding our production facilities to meet the corresponding increase in demand. The tendency to resort to chemical and synthetic food and vitamin supplements will be done away with soon as our natural moringa supplements and fortified foods become available easily.
Problem: Describe the primary problem(s) that your innovation is addressing
With malnutrition very rife in Ghana as a result of the intake of nutrient deficient traditional diets by the populace, the Government found the need to campaign for food fortification and usage of food supplements especially with micronutrients like iron, zinc, Vitamin A and iodine. Unfortunately, it has been found that many of these mineral or chemical additives are expensive and also not bio-available thereby denying the body of the full benefits needed. Imported, cheap, synthetic and chemical food supplements which are available are also not very effective against malnutrition and are at times dangerous to human health as depicted in some recent studies. In the same vein, imported natural and organic food supplements available are highly differentiated, expensive and not within the reach of the general populace. The need for a local alternative with desirable qualities was therefore imperative. Fortunately, moringa fulfilled this. But the absence of an abundant raw material base and lack of the requisite technological know-how resulted in many local moringa products being slightly expensive, poor in quality and at times adulterated which led to rejection. Many small scale industries do not have direct links with the local farmers and are therefore not able to get their raw materials at appreciable rates based on large economies of scale to be able to operate profitably in addition to lack of effective local marketing links.
Actions: Describe the steps that you are taking to make your innovation a success. Include a description of the business model. What might prevent that success?
Under the Green Journey, MOFIL has four main sectors: Farms belonging to various community based organizations, Agricultural consultancy under MOCAMP and directed by Christian Volunteer Service International (CVSI) and MOFIL, direct production by MOFIL and marketing/certification under Ghana MAP directed by CVSI but involving the entire community.
We are moving on for success through:
- Establishment of large scale moringa farms in various parts of the country and elsewhere to provide cheap and abundant source of raw material for intensive production.
- Establishment of modern production facilities worth $2,500,000 to produce our MOFF® brand of Moringa Nutritional Supplements and Fortified Foods over the next three to four years.
- Strengthened Ghana MAP media campaign to give a strong corporate and product branding for our Moringa products.
- Development of new Moringa products and services for our customers’ satisfaction.
- Raising $10 to $100 million for our Co-operative Finance Institute –COFI- to provide micro-financing solutions for our community and farmer based associations to plant 10 to 500 million moringa trees in Ghana and other parts of Africa to sustain the project over the next 5-20 years.
- In spite of these, we need to ensure the marketability and increased usage of our products, with tangible results following which calls for large economies of scale and modern production machinery backed by a strong media campaign to enable us to offer cheap well accepted quality branded products to compete effectively with imported food supplements. We may have serious managerial and organizational problems on account of the large number of unskilled partners and associates including farmers and need therefore to undertake more training sessions for this large group.
Results: Describe the expected results of these actions over the next three years. Please address each year separately, if possible
- 2010 - Two Moringa growing belts in the Eastern and Volta regions have been established and are being expanded to cover the entire country with green belts. The Moringa Oleifera Cultivation and Marketing Program (MOCAMP) will be made more operational backed by our free agricultural consultancy. Our Moringa Nutritional Supplements and Fortified Foods will continue to be subjected to international and national standards to conform to good practices in the industry. Our fortified food range is expected to cover maize, cassava and vegetable oil products. We aim to obtain organic, kosh, environmental friendly and other pertinent certifications. The initial acceptance of our trial production is tremendous and we will move on to get the products in every home in the country and outside. Modernization of our main production facilities will be made with other facilities set up in Eastern and Volta regions. Expected Cash from Grants/Investment is $1,500,000; 300,000 farmers are to be supported; 15% market penetration; Annual Sales Growth of 10%; 300% increase in income of farmers and 70% of grants against earned income.
- 2011 - Expansion of our main production facilities will be undertaken and other units will be set up in other regions including Greater Accra. Research into and production of protein and vitamin extracts will be made. The waste from our operations will be used for our renewable energy program to produce biofuels and biogas. Expected Cash from Grants/Investment is $500,000; 350,000 farmers to be supported; 20% market penetration; Annual Sales Growth of 35%; 20% annual increase in income of farmers and 40% of grants against earned income.
- 2012 - Our fortified food range will be expanded to include pure protein and vitamin extracts for human and animal consumption. Commercial production of biofuels and biogas which may be put under another company to be established. Expected Cash from Grants/Investment is $500,000; 400,000 Farmers to be supported; 35% market penetration; Annual Sales Growth of 55%; 20% annual increase in income of farmers and 15% of grants against earned income.
If your innovation seeks to impact public policy, how?
The ugly trend of malnutrition in Ghana needs to be stemmed. MOFIL has a well defined focus to ensure that such is eradicated from the country through the consumption of fortified foods. Fortunately, the present Government, like the predecessor, has reiterated her resolve to get the populace to take fortified food products with the Ministry of Health embarking on food fortification plans and regenerative health through proper nutrition and exercise. But the zeal with which the program was undertaken in time past is going down. It is intended therefore that MOFIL through the Ghana MAP campaign and in concert with other NGOs will advocate strongly for appropriate legislation and enforcement to be made to ensure that food producers comply. We are equally interested in the use of proper materials for the fortification and supplementation program which we will highlight having in mind our motto: Better Nutrition, Better Health.