ZIMBABWE – Zimbabwe based firm, MoFeed Africa Organic Solutions, producer of organic animal feed, is seeking about US$1.5m to expand its project in Wedza District, in Mashonaland East Province.
MoFeed Africa Organic Solutions produces duckweed, a floating aquatic plant rich in protein, that can be fed to cattle, fish, pigs, chickens, sheep as well as goats.
According to experts, the plant is not only rich in proteins, but also contains many macro- and micro-nutrients as well as vitamins and carotenoids, reports Business Times.
It has been scientifically proven that its use in moderate amounts or as a partial replacement of other protein feed materials, including soybean meal, has beneficial effects on the productivity and fattening of livestock and poultry as well as on the quality of their milk, meat and eggs.
The weed is being used in Brazil, Jordan, Thailand and many other countries in place of highly expensive commercial feed.
“For us to produce feed for the whole nation, we need US$1.5m to set up ponds and processing hubs in all provinces.”Founder and CEO, MoFeed Africa Organic Solutions – Phanuel Makoni
The company founder and CEO, Phanuel Makoni said that the capital it is seeking, would fund the production of duckweed for the local market and export in the SADC region.
“For us to produce feed for the whole nation, we need US$1.5m to set up ponds and processing hubs in all provinces.
“Once construction of ponds and drying equipment is put in place, within half a year to a year we will reach that. And within two years we can grow enough to even export within the region,” said Makoni.
The project, has already been endorsed by local dairy farmers and organisations like We Effect, World Vision and Pigad.
MoFeed is currently expecting a €40 000 (US$48,000) grant from the EU which would enable the company to produce stock feed at a large scale.
“Feeding nationally is our vision. We have however started with Wedza. We will construct more ponds as soon as we get a €40 000 (US$48,000) grant from We Effect under the EU. We are awaiting the release of the grant anytime soon.
“World Vision under the UN, is also working on an SOP [standard operating procedure] so that we start producing feed for their pigs and fish at their Tongogara refugee camp in Chipinge,” Makoni said.
AMA signs agric markets models deal
Meanwhile, the Agricultural Marketing Authority (AMA) of Zimbabwe has signed a memorandum of understanding with Knowledge Transfer Africa (KTA) that will eventually result in the development of marketing models for the local agricultural sector.
The partnership will see KTA providing in-depth market data to AMA, which in turn will use that information to craft market linkages for the sector, reports The Herald.
AMA is mandated with the overall regulation of the production, marketing and processing of agricultural products in the country.
AMA Chief Executive Clever Isayas said, “Market information and market linkages are instrumental in ensuring the efficient operation of agriculture markets.
“This partnership will therefore allow convergence of minds amongst market actors and thus facilitate creation of structured and organised markets.”
In terms of the agreement, KTA — a knowledge broking and information sharing company — will be obligated to create market linkages data for AMA.
KTA shall, at its different agricultural markets across Zimbabwe, collect commodity prices, supply and demand data for AMA.
It will also provide value chain development data to AMA, and provide platform to enable all traders to be registered with the Authority.
In turn, AMA is expected to ensure that it works together with KTA to develop the market linkages, create a platform which KTA can use to provide value chain development to AMA, and ensure that all traders under KTA markets are duly registered.
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