About 11 million Malawians from rural areas majority live in poverty, spending less than a dollar for a living. Although small scale farming (mainly for indigenous poultry farming) is an excellent source of livelihood for 85% of rural smallholder farmers, but vulnerable people, women and youth in rural and peri urban areas continue to struggle with significantly high-level of hunger, poverty, income disproportion and restricted access to the basic human rights which we all take for granted. This is unacceptable. However, it is due to inadequate financial resources to start profitable farming, and training needed to succeed and break out of poverty.
Government and other private sectors are trying their best helping farmers in Malawi access best farming techniques, but still, with the fast rising rate of poverty and fast growing population in Malawi, government is failing to meet people’s needs to access the proper farming trainings, resources and readily access to the market. It is with this background that still 11 million small scale farmers in Malawi still live in poverty and fail to access basic human needs.
The above case, it is actually common in most African countries. Despite agriculture being the back born of most African countries economy, the farmers do not have expertise and resources for them to get good profits from their farming endeavors but also improve the economy for their respective countries. it is therefore with this background that Ecogen Enterprise wants to develop modern white meat Halaal certified abattoir and refrigerated transport services that ensure proper slaughter, carcass preparation and preservation of meat and meat products (mainly for local poultry and rabbits). This is made possible by the generous work of rural and peri urban youth and women smallholder farmers who are asked to grow these livestock by using contract farming concept and through our Rural Partnership Model.
The rural-partnership model equips vulnerable people (people with disabilities, women, and youth) in remote rural and peri-urban areas with the training, and resources needed for them `to become entrepreneurs. We partner with entrepreneurs in rural communities in Malawi. Rearing and marketing local poultry and rabbits for individuals and corporate entities. We give each entrepreneur 200 baby chicks or 50 Rabbits+ feed medication. Once a week we check up on the livestock and provide any Veterinary services needed all for free. Once the chickens start laying eggs, we buy 90% of the eggs produce from the entrepreneurs every week leaving 10% for them to feed their family. We also buy 90% of local birds and rabbits which are then processed and being sold by retail and small quantities in our butcheries. This way, we create a win-win platform for the rural vulnerable farmers, for us and for the market. Providing a consistent supply of high quality meat to the market, thereby alleviating their supply constraints, poverty and hunger at large.
Currently we have a butchery where after the livestock are bought from the farmers, we process them and sold to our customers. We so far only sell our products to small restaurants and hotel. This is to ensure that with the little resources we now have, we can consistently supply to our customers. There is actually a very big demand for white meat (mainly local poultry). According to our market research, only Lilongwe town requires a minimum of 7000 chickens daily and most of them come from South Africa.
ecogen is therefore looking for $200,000 for it to set up farms, have enough resources to reach more farmers and build modern white meat Halaal certified abattoir and refrigerated transport services that ensure proper slaughter, carcass preparation and preservation of meat and meat products.