Empowering rural communities and cultivating alternative crops to deliver highly nutritious, healthful and organic food products in Morocco

Amendy is a social venture dedicated to making nutrition better through sustainable agriculture and to supporting farmers’ livelihoods.

Photo of Mohammed Bendaanane
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I confirm that I am fully aware of the eligibility criteria, and based on its description, I am eligible to apply to the CSV Prize 2017.

  • Yes, I'm eligible

Preferred language

  • English

Organization name

Amendy Foods

Year founded

2015

Initiative stage

  • Start-Up (a pilot that has just started operating)

Annual budget in 2017 (USD)

  • $1k - $10k

Number of beneficiaries impacted so far

  • 1 - 10

Organization type

  • Social enterprise

Secondary Focus Area

  • Water
  • Rural development
  • Nutrition

Headquarters location: Country

  • Morocco

Headquarters location: City

Chichaoua

Location(s) of impact

Chichaoua, Morocco

Website

http://www.amendy.ma

Facebook URL

https://www.facebook.com/AmendyFoods

Twitter URL

http://www.twitter.com/AmendyFoods

Problem: What problem is this initiative trying to address?

In Chichaoua, farmers are unable to use their land for crops like corn due to excessive soil salinization and for those who have enough fund to start watermelon harvesting, they tend to use excessive quantities of water in a semiarid region already suffering from drought conditions. In there, Agriculture is not only highly risky but also tends to be hardly profitable with low access to market and new agricultural techniques and/or crops. Moreover, there is a growing market for organic and healthful crops like quinoa.

Solution Summary: What is the proposed solution? What do you see as its most promising aspects for creating shared value?

How can we produce sustainably while addressing the increasing need for healthful and nutritious food products? This is the question that we ask and strive to answer through the solutions we propose. At Amendy, we make nutrition better through sustainable agriculture. We convert smallholder to high-value crop growers. Our first grain is quinoa sustainably cultivated respecting environment. The genetic variability of quinoa plant makes it very adaptable to different conditions and ecological environment (including soil salinization). Especially in semiarid environment where it allows a very interesting water economy without use of any fertilizers or pesticides. Thus, this grain help us tackle issues faced by smallholders and deliver high nutritional value products. We dedicated for production, transformation and commercialization of high nutritional food products designed for the market of health and well-being while helping farmers thrive and earn sustainable livelihood growing quinoa.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Specify both the social and the environmental impact of your work

We have implemented a sustainable resource management approach by reducing water resource uses in Chichaoua. We help farmers grow high-value crops like quinoa instead of growing water consuming plants like watermelon. Thus we reduced by 80% water use per hectare. In 2015, we cultivated 1.5 hectares which allowed us to gather a harvest of 400 kilograms of quinoa all sold to stores and restaurants. During the same year, 7 persons worked with us. In 2016, we cultivated 12 hectares in collaboration with 3 smallholders to harvest 7 tons of quinoa that we are still commercializing. We created positive impact that benefit both farmers as well as the environment. First we reduced the amount of water that could have been used if farmers cultivated watermelon by 80% which allow wiser use of this vital resource. Second, we impacted lives of the farmers by allowing them to produce quinoa: a more profitable crop than corn and watermelon cultures.

Financial sustainability plan: How is this initiative financially supported? How will you ensure its financial sustainability long-term?

To finance our growth and sustainabilty, we intend to advocate a part of our revenue in investment in our activity and in research and development. We want to create awareness about the importance of taking good care of our customers' eating habits and how this can impact positively overall well-being and health of the population. Thus, we expect an increase need for products we sell in the market that fulfills the needs of healthy lifestyle enthusiasts. A very interesting path toward the growth of our company is export to other markets in Europe, in the MENA region and in Africa at a larger scale.
1. Individual donations or gifts: 5%
2. Grants: 20%
3. Corporate contributions: 10%
4. Earned income: 60%
5. Other: 5%

Unique value proposition: What makes your initiative innovative? How does your project differ from other organizations working in the same field?

Our primary competitive advantage is knowledge, pricing policy and technology relative to existing quinoa producer. Amendy will win thanks to its innovative approach to customer but also the agribusiness R&D responding to needs and creating products affordable and adaptable to local cookery habits. Within our area of expertise, we develop a product line of: Quinoa Couscous, Quinoa Grains and Quinoa Nutritional Bars.

Founding story: Share a story about the "Aha!" moment that sparked the beginning of this initiative.

My story began at college where I along with two other students volunteered in Enactus to implement social-driven projects in our community. We launched a project to promote quinoa, a super nutritious plant, in the Moroccan cookery. During the 2013-2014 academic year, we worked a lot to bring this idea to decent level of maturity and implemented our Enactus project. We believe that quinoa can be a solution to address poverty and nutritional challenges in Morocco. Back then, co-founder Manal Mhada was doing a Ph.D focusing on quinoa. We were intrigued by by the question: how can we employ our knowledge in science to change lives beyond the classroom to a broader level. To answer this question, we strived to get involved in both the scientific/technical and the entrepreneurial sides of what we have named our quinoa journey which leaded us to launch Amendy Foods.

Where did you hear about the Nestlé Creating Shared Value Prize?

  • Social media

4 comments

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Photo of Zaafi

Your project is nice
and was even inspired by it
thank you
more strength and all the best

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