Mission Statement: To expand and diversify Kenyan cash and food crop farming as environmentally and economically sustainable business in rural communities.
Mwanzo Proud Farmers (MPF) is a US based non-profit organization established in January 2011. MPF is dedicated to creating a network of economically sustainable Mwanzo Proud Farmers Cooperatives (MPFC) in the Nyanza and Western Provinces of Kenya whose economies are impacted by HIV/AIDS. MPF will provide organizational support and social business investment capital through grants and loans.
The Mwanzo Proud Farmers Cooperative will be a collection of small farmer-owned co-operatives in rural Kenya that will start with the co-op #1: sunflower oil production as their first cash crop in 2011. The co-op will process the seeds and sell cooking oil to households and institutions. Sunflower by-products will be sold to local animal feed manufacturers for additional profit. The processing site will easily be accessible to farmers and centrally located near trade hubs.
The initial market targets rural populations of Nyanza and Western Provinces, home to an active village-based market of 8 million people. The customers for sunflower oil include individual buyers, market/kiosk owners, regional schools/hospitals, fried-fish sellers, small and large community markets, and supermarkets along the transnational primary roads across the two Provinces. In addition to a strong Kenyan market, there is a growing market for sunflower oil and cake from nearby countries including Tanzania, Uganda, Ethiopia and Sudan.
Profits generated from the sales will be reinvested in the cooperative and mutually agreed upon community development projects. Once the co-op # 1 is fully established, Mwanzo Proud Farmers will expand to other cash crops such as groundnuts, garlic, onions, tomatoes, soya, and mung beans.
Programs and Activities
Mwanzo Proud Farmers Cooperative builds on a successful 2006-08 pilot in Rabuor, Nyanza, that introduced sunflowers as a cash crop for oil, animal feed, and soil improvement. The Rabuor Sunflower Farms pilot was designed and directed by Loyce Mbewa Ong’udi, a US citizen and Nyanza Province native.
The pilot was profitable and confirmed sunflowers as a successful crop for environmental conditions in the Nyanza and Western Provinces; identified the steps required to profitably finance, grow, press, and market sunflowers for oil and byproducts; and provided affordable sunflower oil for local cooking. Participants were proud of their efforts and enthusiastic about the prospects of sunflowers as a profitable and sustainable cash crop for rural communities. The Sunflower Farm pilot program and business plan also placed second in the 2008 Global Social Entrepreneurship Competition (GSEC) through the University of Washington Foster School of Business.
Links to Additional Information
Loyce Ong'udi, Founder and Executive Director
Line Nya-Ngatchou, Development Director
1813 19th Avenue #410
Seattle, WA 98122