Our dream to build a financially sustainable organization was once a far fetched dream. Today, we are excited to inform you that we are almost there. Our agribusiness models that we've been developing since last year have been a big success and all of them are financially sustainable. We are ready to scale-up by teaching these models to local farmers as they continue their journey of eradicating extreme poverty in their respective families and communities with the support of Mavuno.
Today we are pleased to share with you about our economically sustainable Smallholder Family Poultry Farm.
INPUT: $5812 (Capital Investment and working capital)
OUTPUT: $9248 (Eggs and Chicken sales)
GROSS PROFIT: $3436 or 59%
Advantages of Chickens:
Less capital requirement and less risk
Chickens produce eggs year round. Eggs and chicken meat are always in high demand.
Eggs provide a good source of protein promoting food security for the family
Do not need large amounts of space and can also eat in the open field (Free Range)
We want to share with you some of our successes (our harvest) and failures (the stuff we hope will compost into something useful as we learn from it) from the past few weeks. We are thankful for YOU and your partnership with us in this work and hope that you will find these new short reports to be of value as you join us in transforming Eastern Congo into a place of flourishing for all.
1) We began clearing several hectares of swamp-land at our Rural Development Center outside of Beni where we are planning to build a small dam to create a large fishpond for raising tilapia. Fish are expensive in the local markets and we hope to provide affordable fish to fill the gap in local diets.
2) The construction of a second greenhouse, built with wood, at the Rural Development Center is well under way. The frame is up and we are purchasing the plastic cover for the building. We plan to have a total of five greenhouses producing tomatoes for sale in Beni and surrounding area.
3) We have started a new USAID-funded emergency project in partnership with Tearfund (a UK-based charity). The project aims to deliver seeds and tools to 4000 internally displaced families in our region of the country who have had to flee their homes due to fighting. The hope is that they will be able to grow small plots of food to sustain their families while waiting to return home.
1) Our first greenhouse was made with metal poles and came from Uganda. We had a lot of trouble erecting the structure and then regulating the temperature inside the building as it is not well adapted to our location. Additionally, it was more expensive than the wooden-framed structures we are now building. We have learned that sometimes it is better to go with our local options as they are better suited to our reality on the ground.
2) Several of the Grassroots Organizations (GOs) that we helped start over the last few years have recently held elections to vote in new leaders for their groups due to poor leadership on the part of the original leadership teams. Mavuno's mobilization team continues to work with the GOs to teach better leadership principles in the hope of reducing leadership turnover in the future.
The Beni team began the year with a week of vision casting and planning. Each department carried out a SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) and used the results to put in place action plans that address some of Mavuno’s core weaknesses in meeting the strategic plan for the year. Additionally, activity plans for the year were revised in accordance with the budget and strategic plan. With plans in place, the different departments also began working on curriculum for our new training of trainers program.
Once the meetings were done, the team set to work implementing their plans for the year. At the rural development center, our team of agronomists began construction of a greenhouse for vegetable production and also planted thirty varieties of sweet potatoes to analyze which varieties grow best in the region and should be provided to our partners. They also continued to care for plantain seedlings which will be planted at the rural development center when ready and eventually sold to our partners.
Our animal husbandry team finalized construction of an enclosure for pigs at the rural development center and also cared for sick chickens in the community. Our veterinarian made site visits to partners who have started to care for rabbits to ensure that proper techniques are being used in the care of the animals. At the rural development center, two of the three fish ponds have been completed and stocked with fish, which will be ready for sale in the coming months.
The mobilization team has continued to lead meetings with our GOs and is working with the Monitoring and Evaluation Officer to establish an effective mechanism for tracking our partners, especially as we receive new partners and have others who leave our programming. Of particular interest is tracking the participation of women in our programming and also understanding why we have had farmers that leave our program. We are eager to understand what impact outstanding loans might play in attrition from our projects and expect to have answers as we analyze year end data.
This month, we have started the process of opening a sub-office in Goma to spearhead coordination and fundraising efforts regionally. Goma is strategic for regional funding and having an office in Goma will provide greater visibility for the organization as we work with other NGOs in eastern Congo and try to connect with potential business partners. Goma is also a larger market opportunity for our plantain flour than Beni, and we believe we will be able to boost sales here.
We are proud to present our first case study titled Mama Kahasa: A Case Study in Local Leadership. As our model grows and evolves, we always keep local leadership at the forefront. Mama Kahasa is a wonderful example of how our work is evolving to create entrepreneurs who are galvanizing their own communities to generate income and end extreme poverty.
In 2018, we're looking to do even more with our programming. Over 5,000 Congolese are currently impacted by Mavuno's work, and we won't stop until all of Congo is peaceful and prosperous.
Thank you for your continued support of Mavuno, and we will have more updates soon!
Mavuno’s team has been hard at work developing a pilot plantain flour business. We have worked with our community partners to identify producers, build a dryer in the village, fine-tune the production process, and research market opportunities. We are happy to announce our first product has hit the shelves! This flour will be sold in local markets, and the revenue generated will be reinvested in other business development ideas to further promote income generation and sustainability for our community partners. This is a big step in continuing to empower local leaders to build business and end extreme poverty in their own communities.
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