Beratung

africrops! consulting supports the development of organic agriculture in Gambia

Following the change in political leadership in Gambia (West Africa) the new government under president Jammeh has made it its goal to develop its agricultural sector. Within this context organic farming and the training of “green” specialists has experienced a new boost.

Private sector actors have approached africrops! to professionally support and help realize these goals. The consulting efforts entail a wide range of activities, including support in the organic certification process, providing expertise regarding the cultivation of high-quality organic products and developing a concept for capacity building and training of experts.

Dr. Wesselmann taking soil samples.

To complete the complex process for the organic certification of plant-based raw materials according to EU-guidelines a feasibility study was carried out. As part of this study samples of the soil were taken and analyzed by a German laboratory. The findings were very positive, so that the implementation phase can now begin.

Vorlesung an der Uni

Dr. Wesselmann during his lecture at the University of Banjul.

Well-trained experts in the areas of agriculture, gardening, processing and environmental protection, as well as all other related fields complete the circle. In relation to this Dr. Andreas Wesselmann held a lecture on the topic of “Entrepreneurship in Agribusiness – opportunities and challenges of organic farming in Africa” at the University of Banjul.

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africrops! supports the international research Project „BAOFOOD“

logo-baofoodprojectThe “BAOFOOD“ project funded by the German federal Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection, is investigating the application possibilities of the Baobab tree, with the aim of improving the food supply in Africa. In fact, a research network of public and private actors was created, which is coordinated by the University of Rhein-Waal. africrops! is helping herby to build of a local economy and in the scientific field. 

 

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(from left): Meinolf Kuper, Mrs Professor Kehlenbeck, Dr Andreas Wesselmann in the Geenhouse of the University

The extensive and already well-established producer network of africrops! provides a promising approach to building local structures for the marketing of baobab foods. Building on this, africrops! aims to build up a global sales network for Baobab food to bring foreign trade to the forefront and on equal footing. Due to the long experience of africrops! with the raw material Baobab, scientific partners are also supported in the formulation of research questions.

The BAOFOOD project includes comprehensive research activities on the benefits of the Baobab tree as a food product and the optimal handling along the entire value chain, with particular emphasis on sustainability. This includes exploration of the biology and ecology of the baobab tree and the geographical coverage of trees using digital technology. Furthermore, extensive research on the production and optimization of food using traditional and modern methods, local marketing, measuring the contribution of baobab products to nutrition – and income situation of the population, as well as market analyzes in Kenya and Sudan is performed.

logo uni rhein-waalThe project manager responsible for the Rhein-Waal University of Applied Sciences, Professor Darr and other university colleagues met with Meinolf Kuper and Dr. Andreas Wesselmann, two of the three managing directors of africrops!. All the details of the cooperation were discussed during this meeting. The entire network of partners consists of various research institutions, NGOs as well as companies from Germany, Kenya, Sudan, Malawi and UK.

In addition, both africrops! representatives gave the students the opportunity to learn more about “Entrepreneurship in Agribusiness – opportunities and challenges in Africa – the example of africrops! GmbH “. The lecture was very well attended and was followed by international students and curious observers with keen interest.

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Dr Andreas Wesselmann as guest lecturer on “Entrepreneurship in Agribusiness”

 

More about the project Baofood:

 

Press articles„africrops! @ Rhein Waal“:

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africrops! Moringa smoothies at the “International Green Week” in Berlin

from left to right: Dr Christoph Beier (Deputy Chaiman of GIZ), Dr Gerhard Müller (Federal Minister BMZ), Dr Heinrich Heinrichs

During the “Green Week” in Berlin, africrops! GmbH is cooperating with the GIZ in the hall of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).

Dr Heinrich Heinrichs at the interview about the importance of Moringa in the countries of origin and in Europe

africrops! offers interested visitors a fresh Moringa smoothie and informs about the importance of Moringa which corresponds to the initiative of the BMZ “A world without hunger”. On the opening day, Federal Minister Müller visited the hall and strongly informed himself about Moringa while he was enjoying a smoothie.

Dr Heinrich Heinrichs (Managing Director of africrops!) has been interviewed several times about Moringa and its importance for nutrition, as well as the creation of work and as additional source of income for African small farmers and their families.

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Successful organic certification according to EU guidelines for partners in Tanzania

aw_bio_inspection_webA main concern of africrops! is the continuous quality assurance. On this occasion, Dr. Andreas B. W. Wesselmann (Managing Director) personally traveled to Africa to carefully examine three companies in Tanzania. The inspector of the organic certification company Kiwa BCS was also part of the certification process under Article 29 (1) No. 834/2007.

In Tanzania, scenic landscapes on which Moringa is cultivated were assessed and classified by Dr. Wesselmann as very high quality. “We can be very fortunate that Moringa is cultivated here on virgin soil. The results are impressive”, says Dr. Wesselmann. In addition, the focus was on a large and sparsely populated area of Baobab trees, from which an excellent wild collection of fruits emerged. In short, all plant raw materials were certified in a record time of only 3 months.

All three farms successfully mastered the certification process and are now allowed to export to Europe with an official organic-certificate and organic-label. africrops! will buy directly from all three companies without any intermediaries and market these high quality products in Germany and Europe. From the perspective of africrops! organic certification offers many opportunities for exporting to Europe at more fair and higher prices.

Quality Assurance

A Visit to our cooperation partner in Tanzania

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Our Managing Director Meinolf Kuper has just returned from his trip to Tanzania in East Africa where he met with our producers. Some of the activities on the schedule included to build a supply chain for certified organic products, provide quality assurance and advise on organic farming. This was mainly regarding the production of Baobab powder from the Dodoma region in the country’s interior and the expansion of the production of Moringa leaf powder and Moringa oil. In the port town of Dar es Salaam, where africrops! supports a pilot farm, Meinolf Kuper was able to convince himself of the successfully installed systems implemented there to dry the Moringa leaves. “It is really fun to work with our partners here in Africa. Through our close contacts and on-site visits, our suppliers now produce very high-quality products, which enables them to gain access to the export market and improve their living standards. ”

 

WebOur partner AfriCraft

In addition to the field of plant-based raw materials, the AfriCraft cooperation partner was advised. AfriCraft is a leading recycler of waste products such as paper, metal cans, glass bottles and flour bags. From these waste materials innovative products are produced such as bags, tea lights and greeting cards. africrops! will soon add these products as an additional component to their product range.

 

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Recycling and sustainability in school projects

This is an important contribution to raise awareness among children and teachers on waste and the consequences of littering cities, possibilities of waste prevention, collection management and the recycling of waste products. At the same time, children are given a better picture of what it means to be sustainable. The AfriCraft staff will start this teaching unit in the near future with the first two schools of a total of 800 pupils, to show children how they can learn to prevent waste. This completes the circle perfectly with africrops!, whom with the production and marketing of fruits and leaves of Baobab and Moringa provide a good example of sustainable management.

Moringa-Anbau-Haiti

Moringa in emergency aid on Haiti

Haiti fights consequences of disasters with moringa

Moringa-Anbau-HaitiMalnutrition, soil erosion, unemployment and poverty. The list of problems in Haiti is long. According to the UN World Food Programme (UN WFP), Haiti is considered as the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. 75% of the population lives on less than $ 2 a day, 50% on less than $ 1 a day. Although 60% of all Haitians work in agriculture, Haiti is importing half of all food products. Due to recent disasters such as the 2010 earthquake and the hurricane 2012, the situation worsened. In addition to other international and national organisations, such as the UN WFP and the US Agency for International Development (USAID), also the German government is involved in relief efforts.

 

Haiti used moringa for reconstruction

Moringa is known for its abundance of nutrients. It contains all the essential amino acids, almost all of the vitamins, including particularly vitamin C and A, as well as minerals. It also includes iron, calcium and magnesium. Haiti’s government has developed a national moringa policy and is promoting the use of moringa as a crop. German experts help and africrops! is involved. This is why, Meinolf visited Haiti in the summer 2012 as a development expert.

Moringa Reforestation Haiti

The engagement was part of the emergency relief operation of the German government after the earthquake in Haiti. In addition to the ad hoc relief work that was being done by the Federal Government, the aim was to establish sustainable relief structures, making the country less vulnerable to the effects of natural disasters in the long-run. In particular, the rapid availability of locally produced food, was the focus of this policy, in order to reduce the dependence on imports and aid shipments. Moringa is growing very fast, is undemanding and within a short time can already be harvested after sowing.  It therefore represents an ideal crop in the context of emergency relief programs.

Apart from the use of moringa as a nutrient, it can also contribute to improving health of the population through regular intake. The positive health benefits are manifold. The leaves have a particularly high content of in iron, vitamin C and Vitamin A, and thus help to combat the worst symptoms of qualitative malnutrition. Importantly, also the seeds are antibacterial and can even be used as water purifiers.

Furthermore, the cultivation of moringa enables the people to increase their average income.

 

Emergency measures with moringa in Haiti

  • Advice of small farmers in their villages for the cultivation and processing of moringa

Moringa Workshop Haiti

  • Planting of moringa for anti-erosion measures on the mountain slopes (Haiti only has a remainder of 2% of forest areas)
  • Construction of a system for income generation of the local population by the cultivation of moringa
  • Use of Moringa in school canteens and health facilities (Haiti has adopted a national moringa-strategy, which provides for the increased cultivation and utilisation of Moringa in these institutions)
  • Expansion of the local NGO BATAKOA in Gonaives as a cooperative of villages. The NGO is active in training, processing and distribution of moringa
  • Installation of a processing unit (mill and oil press) at BATAKOA
  • Build-up of a distribution system for the local market

The use of moringa is an important step in the enhancement of development cooperation and emergency aid. However, the biggest challenges that remain are the cultivation, the processing and the market access and distribution of moringa. The successful application in scenarios such as this one, show however that moringa has many different benefits and is rightly called “miracle tree”.

Reference: UN WFP

Kindergarten Tansania

School meals project – Healthy food for vulnerable children

“Trade not aid” and “help for self-help” are usually the mottos of “The Essence of Africa”. However, there are people who cannot help themselves, the children. In order to support the children in Tanzania, “The Essence of Africa” will start a project for the integration of moringa oleifera in the daily kindergarten and school food. […]