Moringa Miracles Ltd (MML) - Commercial Production of Moringa Oleifera

MML will produce moringa leaf powder, seed and oil to deliver a triple bottom line: commercial success, social and environmental impact.

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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

Moringa Miracles Limited

Year founded


Initiative stage

  • Growth (the pilot has already launched and is starting to expand)

Annual budget in 2017 (USD)

  • $10k - $50k

Number of beneficiaries impacted so far

  • 10,000 - 50,000

Organization type

  • Social enterprise

Secondary Focus Area

  • Water
  • Nutrition

Headquarters location: Country

  • Malawi

Headquarters location: City


Location(s) of impact

Malawi - Chikwawa District - according to USAID, 97.7% of the population are either considered to be ultra-poor (31.9%) or poor (65.9%).

Website - under reconstruction

Problem: What problem is this initiative trying to address?

MML aims to sustainably break the aid cycle in the poorest country in the world by increasing: smallholder incomes, food security, environmental resilience and access to clean water. To produce moringa oil, MML will partner with 62,000 smallholders and plant 3.4 million trees. MML's farm based operation will employ 100 staff, offering equal employment opportunities for women and youth. This allows a holistic approach to these issues to be adopted and means MML can deliver long term impact with a triple bottom line.

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

MML’s innovative production methods, refined during trials, will revolutionise the moringa industry. Leaf powder will be produced on site and moringa seed and seed oil will be produced in partnership with 62,000 local smallholders; 50,000 managed by Catholic Relief Services and 12,000 managed by MML. 400,000 Trees have been gifted to these smallholders to date and a further 3 million trees will be donated by Q2 2018; MML will offer a route to market for the seed subsequently produced. This will increase: smallholder incomes by 61% p.a; food security; environmental resilience by reversing deforestation and provide 182 million litres of clean water pa. Combined with wage earnings (MML will directly employ 100), this will inject c.US$1.5 million into the local economy and c.US$1.2 million in taxation pa and lift over 300,000 Malawians out of extreme poverty from year 5 of operations. Finally, moringa awareness programmes will generate a domestic market for smallholders to service.

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

MML is contributing to 13/17 of the UN’s SDGs and is supporting the Malawi Government’s Scale Up Nutrition special 1000-day programme. Thus far MML has: Social impact: • Identified 62,000 smallholders • Donated 400,000 moringa trees • Commenced $75,000 of smallholder seed purchases • Introducing moringa to smallholder diets to reduce Vitamin A and iron deficiency Environmental: • Improving water catchment area management • Partnered with African Parks to purchase moringa seed from their smallholders, offering a commercially viable alternative to subsistence poaching • Reversing deforestation - supporting Malawi’s National Charcoal Strategy MML will: • Donate a further 3 million trees • Inject US$1.5m pa into the local economy • Lift over 300,000 Malawians out of extreme poverty from year 5 • Employ a further 80 staff • Purify 182 million litres of water pa. (3lts daily for c.167,000 people) • Cultivate 50 million moringa trees and be a carbon positive company

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

MML has applied for elements of its plan to be supported through grant funding (50%) to complement commercial investment (50%). However, if these grants are not forthcoming then MML will stage commercial investment and use operating profits to fully establish operations. Unusually for early stage companies, MML will be profit earning from year one and earned income alone will therefore support MML’s long term future.

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

Uniquely, with one cash injection MML will sustainably address 4 critical issues over the long term. MML's model can be replicated around the world; crucially moringa naturally occurs in the world's most under nourished regions - MML's model can provide countries with a domestic answer to domestic problems without the need for donor assistance.

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

MML was founded by David Varndell, a Malawian entrepreneur, who was convinced that the only way to break the aid cycle in Malawi was through developing private enterprise. Through commercial moringa production he identified that a triple bottom line - commercial success, social and environmental impact - could be achieved. Eighteen months after laying the foundations of MML through successful proof of concept trials, David was diagnosed with cancer and passed away. MML remains a family business and the motivation to succeed could not be stronger - MML will provide the cornerstone to David's legacy, has the potential to lift 300,000 Malawians out of extreme poverty within five years and will deliver lasting environmental impact. MML's management team will turn David's dream into a reality.

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

  • Other

Attachments (1)

MML Infographic (CRS).pdf

This infographic neatly encapsulates how MML's smallholder programme will work. Field officers use this infographic when engaging with smallholders to ensure that they understand all of the social, nutritional and environmental benefits of moringa production. Additionally, it enables field officers to demonstrate commercial alternatives to charcoal production as a source of income generation, which in turn will reduce deforestation and support Malawi's National Charcoal Strategy.


Join the conversation:

Photo of Griet Daneels

Fantastic that you live a dream and make it work for so many local people to take their lifes in their OWN hand and be able to built up a future!

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