Mama Africa Organic Fertilizer Project

Year: 2019
Country: Malawi
Project Status: Funded
Impact Sector: Economic Opportunity
Project Investment: $749.67

Project Launch: 8-28-19

Shama Tomato Cooperative, a women led group in Mwanza district, will produce organic fertiliser though this World Connect grant. The fertiliser will be used to grow quality tomatoes at a cheaper price. The women will establish a demonstration plot where the fertiliser will be used during the course of the project. The cooperative members believe that the demonstration plot will be a springboard for other community members to adopt the use of the organic fertiliser. Shama Tomato Cooperative expects that many farmers will be interested in their product as it is a low cost input that can improve the quality of their crops. Through this business, members will earn income and contribute to their families' well-being and financial stability. 

Project Update: 12-18-19

Eighteen women members of Shama Tomato Cooperative have completed training and gained skills in organic fertiliser making. Since the project started, a total of 61 bags of fertilizer (50 kg each) have been produced by mixing chicken manure, ash, and 10 kg of chemical fertiliser. As part of testing the technology, two demonstration gardens have been established and planted with maize where six bags of fertiliser have been applied. A total of 55 bags have been sold generating an equivalent of $300 USD in the process which has been used to source additional raw materials. The group has received overwhelmingly positive response from the community and it is believed that the performance of the crop in the demonstration gardens will increase demand for fertilizer from community members even further. 

Final Report: 2-7-20

Five months after receiving a $749.67 Accelerator Grant from World Connect, The Shama Cooperative boasts of having discovered the right combination of producing effective inorganic fertilizer from chicken manure, ash, and small quantities of inorganic fertilizer. The demonstration gardens and plots where twenty individual farmers applied the new fertilizer are showing prospects of a high yield. At the cost of only MK3000 ($4 USD) per fifty-kilogram bag, each farmer has saved on average $105 for the season. The women have used 65% of the income generated to start a group savings and loan program while the other 35% has been reinvested into the project for future processing of fertilizer.

Commenting on the project, Ellen Chimuzu, the local leader says, “The project is already self-sustaining. Even though we dropped the price per bag to K3000 down from our original price of K5000 to promote our product because we were just starting out, we were still able to make 35% profit. We were able to put aside enough money to manufacture another 50 bags of fertilizer as well as had enough to set up the village bank and give out our first round of loans to 14 of our members, which will be paid back after a month at 20% interest. On top of this, the harvest from our demonstration field throughout the year will add even more revenue. This will be enough to cover our ongoing expenses which include raw materials, sacks, rent and water.” The cooperative has plans to increase production in 2020 as demand after assessing this year’s impact is likely to increase. Through its Established Field Partner, The group is researching to find ways to effectively produce large quantities of fertilizer as opposed to manual production which is cumbersome.