I would like to make the following contribution to the current discussion. It is an example of how civil society, using social business as a vehicle, can make useful and sustainable contributions to improve nutrition in the rural areas where it is needed most.
"Civil Society Contribution to Improve Nutrition – An Example
- submitted by Malnutrition Matters (www.malnutrition.org) Sept 2013
Malnutrition Matters (MM) is a Canadian-registered non-profit, founded in the year 2000. MM is committed to alleviating malnutrition by creating sustainable micro-enterprises in rural areas, which are centered on local processing to provide affordable food with increased protein and micronutrients. MM has helped establish over 240 sites worldwide to produce soymilk from local soybeans. The large majority of these sites use equipment that does not require electricity or running water, and which can provide supplemental protein-rich nutrition for 1,000 people or more per day, at the cost of about 4 cents a cup. Each one-cup serving (or 250 ml) contains 7 g of whole protein, which is less than half of the cost of dairy milk. The MM sites serve over 150,000 beneficiaries daily. Locally made soymilk is the most cost-effective way to provide micro-nutrient fortified whole protein to rural populations, where often over 50% of the children are malnourished, with protein and micro-nutrient deficiencies often the most acute. Capital cost for the equipment is less than $5,000 per site and sites typically become self-sufficient in less than one year.
The majority of these sites have been developed with other civil society partners, some of which are listed below. MM itself is a sustainable social business, with less than 20% of revenue from sponsorships.
MM has also recently established over solar food drying 20 sites. These sites use solar-only food driers to dry up to 30kg of food (such as tomato, mango, peppers, guava, papaya, fish) per day, per unit. This increases food security by enabling part of the harvest to be preserved in simple plastic bags for up to one year, rather than having surplus harvest rot. The SolarFlex dryer capital cost is $1,400 per unit.
MM’s partners include :
- African Development Bank (Ghana)
- Alpro NV (Belgium)
- Humana People to People (Malawi, Mozambique)
- OIC International / USAID (Liberia)
- TSBF/CIAT (Kenya, Burundi, Rwanda)
- World Bank Development Marketplace
- World Concern / ZOA / EU (Myanmar)
Please visit www.malnutrition.org to see YouTube videos of various sites in action.
Links and resources:
Earlier FSN Forum ICN2 discussions:
The FSN Forum is supported by the project Coherent food security responses: incorporating right to food into global and regional food security initiatives.