DEG finances moringa company in Kenya
Press Release from 2018-05-18 / DEG
Estimations suggest that there are some 2 million different biological species worldwide. The UN-International Day for Biological Diversity on 22 May is a reminder of their importance. Biodiversity is not only key for the world’s biological balance. In addition, climatically adapted endemic plant species, for example, are important sources of nutrients that often only need comparatively little fertiliser or water – and offer income opportunities as well.
USD 500,000 from up-scaling funds for growing bio-moringa
As part of the Up-scaling programme of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), DEG is financing a local company in the Kilifi county, one of Kenya’s poorest regions, which is specialised in cultivating moringa trees. By providing USD 500,000, DEG enables Kilifi Moringa Estates Ltd. (Kilifi) to expand its production. The entire investment volume amounts to USD 1 million.
Local company with innovative business idea
Kilifi has been manufacturing different products from moringa raw materials since 2014. Processed into powder, the leaves serve as food supplements. The oleaginous seeds are in great demand in the cosmetic industry and, in addition, can be used for water purification Moringa is regarded as a “superfood”, its leaves, containing valuable proteins, vitamins and minerals, are also part of the local cuisine as tea or vegetable.
Kilifi currently works with some 300 small farmers, providing them with seedlings and cultivation training free of charge. They plant the moringa trees on their plots, together with other agricultural crops. The farmers can sell the leaves and seeds that they do not need for their personal use to the company at a fixed price. As these trees grow very quickly, they can be harvested for the first time after just six months.
Income for up to 1,000 small farming families
In the coming three years, the company aims to step up its processing capacity considerably and to source moringa from up to 1,000 small farmers, mainly women. This gives them an important additional income. Kilifi will also be cultivating its own fields in future. Its cultivation and production are already certified as organic.
With its Up-scaling programme, DEG promotes promising and innovative business ideas by young enterprises in developing and emerging-market countries. If the investment proves to be successful, the company is required to repay the up-scaling funds.