Poverty alleviation and rural development through micro-industrialization of subsistence crops.
We customize tech, empower farmers to transform their produce, collect the finished products and export them to ethnic stores worldwide.
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.
Growth (the pilot has already launched and is starting to expand)
Annual budget in 2017 (USD)
Number of beneficiaries impacted so far
Headquarters location: Country
Headquarters location: City
Location(s) of impact
Foumbot, Bafia, Bengui, Bangkim, Yaounde, Buea, Yagwa, Ngoundere, Muyuka
Problem: What problem is this initiative trying to address?
According to the African Development Bank(ADB), Africa’s agriculture is a trillion-dollar industry but to capture this value and alleviate poverty in Africa, farmers need to adopt a value chain development model suitable for their subsistence agriculture. The copy and paste large scale industrialization model from the west cannot solve this problem in Africa due to inadequate transport infrastructure, inadequate supply of energy, smallholdings, etc.
Solution Summary: What is the proposed solution? What do you see as its most promising aspects for creating shared value?
We have developed a franchise micro-industrialization and commercialization model (value chain model driven by a marketing concept) to capture this value predicted by the ADB. We customize technology, empower farmers to transform their produce using these technologies, then we collect the finished products and export them to 1000+ identified ethnic stores all over the world.
The core strength of our model is our ability to (a) source and negotiate viable export markets for the finished products and (b) develop, customize or adapt processing technologies, put them at the farmers’ disposal and train them on how to use, maintain and manage these technologies.
Working with plantain farmers in Bafia, Muyuka and Bangem we empowered them with processing machines to produce packaged plantain chips which were exported abroad and attracted revenue 25 times greater than the revenue obtained from selling the raw plantain products locally.
Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Specify both the social and the environmental impact of your work
Our monitoring and evaluation report revealed interesting social and environmental impacts of our model:
The annual household incomes of participating farmers doubled and some cases tripled. This means farmers could afford education, health care and other social amenities for their families.
The 320 farmers who took our end of pilot survey indicated at 80% satisfaction rate with the project stating that they now feel valued in the agricultural value chain. This was also confirmed by their strong sense of community ownership with low tolerance for errors.
Our model proved quite friendly to the environment as there is no need to cut down trees for large scale plantations or factory. Instead, the model encourages farmers to practice good environmental subsistence farming practices.
Through this project, we were able to cut food waste down to 10% in the localities where our micro-processing units were setup versus 40% in communities where the project did not touch.
Financial sustainability plan: How is this initiative financially supported? How will you ensure its financial sustainability long-term?
Our project sustainability model relies on grants, membership contributions, corporate contributions, equity investment and earned incomes.
Each year, each member of the cooperatives involved in the project contributes an annual fee of 10,000frs ($20) towards supporting and maintaining the micro-processing units installed within their communities. This source yielded between 25,000,000frs ($50,000) and 45,000,000frs ($90,000) or 8% to 15% of our annual budget during the pilot.
The percentage contributions from the sources are as follows:
- Individual donations or gifts (0%)
- Grants (30%)
- Equity Investments (10%)
- Corporate contributions (33%)
- Earned income (12%)
- Cooperative member contributions (15%)
Unique value proposition: What makes your initiative innovative? How does your project differ from other organizations working in the same field?
Our model triumphs over similar models in that we are democratizing processing technologies and making them accessible to farmers who otherwise will never be able to access such machinery or technologies. Our model helps farmers realize their century long desires to directly participate and take ownership of the value chain development for their farm produce. Moreover, our model has been proven to work even on neglected subsistence crops such as Cocoyams and wild Bananas.
Founding story: Share a story about the "Aha!" moment that sparked the beginning of this initiative.
Inspired by his father who was the prime minister of former West Cameroon, Mr. George Muna took a kin interest in agriculture growing up as a boy and ended up pursuing his education and career as an agrarian.
Between the 60s and 80s, George enjoyed eating processed food products from small local farms such as Cheese, Tomato Ketchup, Margarine, Pasta, Cornflakes, etc. In the 90s, he observed majority of these food products that used to be produced locally are now mainly imported and most farmers sell their farm produce in raw unprocessed form.
As an agro-industrial expert, George fully understood the implications. He thought this was a social injustice to farmers and could not accept this reality noting that if we could transform our farm products in the 60s, we should be able to do even better in the 90s. In this on this premise that he created the FRULAC project.
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