Optimised Ash Based Livestock Mineral and Vitamin Block Lick for Free Choice Feeding

Low cost mineral - vitamin lick reduce hidden hunger in livestock. Supports food and nutrition security via nutrition sensitive agriculture

Photo of impofu .
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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

Chinhoyi University

Year founded


Initiative stage

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

Annual budget in 2017 (USD)

  • $50k - $100k

Number of beneficiaries impacted so far

  • 10 - 50

Organization type

  • Nonprofit, NGO, or citizen sector

Secondary Focus Area

  • Rural development

Headquarters location: Country

  • Zimbabwe

Headquarters location: City


Location(s) of impact

Zimbabwe: Chinhoyi, Zvishavane South Africa: Pretoria



Problem: What problem is this initiative trying to address?

This project proposal is guided by what amount of minerals cattle get from their natural fodder and from the commercial additives. The main farmers’ pains we are concerned with are: - (i) Low performance in terms of reproduction, growth, survival potential, meat and milk quality; (ii) High cost of imported mineral & vitamin supplements for smallholder to medium scale farmers, (iii) Toxicities when using mineral & vitamin in powder form.

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

The commercial rational of implementing the project stems from the fact that minerals and vitamins are often ignored functional nutrients for grazing animals and this make rural farmers fail to realize the full genetic potential of their animals. The solution proposed for farmers is a hydraulic pressed vitamin - mineral block lick which can be placed on the ground and is hard enough to be licked over many months. It can be placed near watering points for convenient supplementation of minerals and vitamin A, D and E. The block sizes will be fabricated with the highest level of palatability due to the judicious inclusion of molasses as a natural attractant and consumption rate per animal per day will well controlled to prevent mineral and vitamin toxicity through an inherent limiter being iodated salt. The block lick will be ash based and optimised by computer aided feed formulation.

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

Processing Ash from tobacco rocket stove as base source of minerals reduce ash polution on farms. The Block lick prototype produced is 30% cheaper to produce making the vitamin - mineral supplementation more affordable to small to medium scale cattle and goat farmers. Cattle are promising to remain in good condition during the end of the dry season when they are needed most by rural families to provide draught power for land preparation just before the onset of rains. This is set to boost food production under rain fed agriculture. Livestock will produce more and better quality meat and milk for family nourishment in terms of animal protein supply especially for the children under the age of 5 and pregnant women. Reducing or even eliminating hidden hunger in livestock will help communities realise more value in livestock and support food security through nutrition sensitive agriculture.

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

1. Grant from SANBIO/BIOFISA = USD 71,000.00 (1 million Rands) per annually. 2. Corporate contribution from Capital Foods as our commercial partner through importation of vitamins and minerals. We do not have license to import so we lean on our commercial partner. 3. Earned income from Chinhoyi University of Technology Farm = USD 30,000.00 per annually.

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

Product is high value low volume, weather proof and convenient micro-nutrient livestock supplement.

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

We realise that at least 80% of the 5.2 million cattle in Zimbabwe and 14 million cattle in South Africa are reared by rural farmers. Cattle especially in the communal areas do not get mineral and vitamin supplements due to lack of technical know-how, convenient forms, availability and affordability. Most minerals on the market are in powder form and difficult to administer without causing losses and toxicity problems. Therefore, fabrication of a block which the animals can safely consume free-choice by licking is imperative. Aha, there is lots of ash produced in households and from rocket stoves in tobacco curing. Properly combusted ash is free minerals that is thrown away causing environmental pollution. So we can formulate ash into lick

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

  • Upon recommendation from others


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Photo of Ramy Elmery

Good Luck Impofu. Sounds promising. A lot of work and investment needed though. Wish you All the best.


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