Spirulina Farm Project implemented through Survival First Social Enterprise

Published on July 5, 2014 um 17:48

Summary of your idea

Establish a social enterprise whose aim is to contribute to an increased level of development in The Gambia, through economically sound, sustainable development initiatives. The first project is to establish a Spriulina Farm and Processing Center in the Village of Amdalie, in the West Coast Region where land has been made available. Spirulina is a micro-algae with phenomenal nutritional properties. It is proposed that this be done in collaboration with the Womens Association, to some of whom training will be given and become employed. Operations will be based on an entrepreneurial approach that aims to make Spirulina accessible to the greatest number of people by setting up an organized Spirulina distribution chain through education, partnership and training. The Social Enterprise will develop its capacity to support the implementation of further units around the country in order to decentralize production with the use of appropriate micro-finance and cross-subsidization schemes. Objectives : 1. Complement efforts of the health sector through the provision of Spirulina to help combat malnutrition, boost the immune system of HIV/AIDS victims and improve the general well-being of the population. 2. Establish Spirulina as an income generating opportunity for women and young people and to pioneer other innovative alternative livelihoods to help communities break away from the ensuing culture of dependency sustainably. 3. Create a platform for partnership with various agencies for the research, development and transfer of appropriate techniques and technologies to enhance and diversify local production capacities. 4. Promote entrepreneurial and participatory approaches to development through the introduction of micro-finance schemes to ensure the strategic value of all initiatives to the beneficiaries. 5. Influence National policy outcomes through advocacy for policy development and incorporation, capacity building and to protect local small holder farmers and other small scale producers

Expected impact of your idea on sustainable development

Spirulina production is an innovative way to improve local food security and sustainability, develop an effective low cost solution to fight malnutrition and ensure economic self-sufficiency and sustainability. Improved nutrition in general and micronutrient intake in particular is the most effective antipoverty instrument. The production and marketing of Spirulina will offer communities an alternative income generation opportunity while its consumption will cure and help prevent malnutrition and other illnesses in children and HIV/ AIDS patients. This will contribute to the empowerment of women and the youth. Its production will also contribute immensely to environmental mitigation, since its growth removes carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and converts it into oxygen far more effectively and quicker than trees. A clinical study will be conducted in collaboration with the nearest hospital using a sample of children under 5 years, HIV/AIDS patients and pregnant mothers (from different areas) due to the fact that they are most vulnerable to malnutrition. Spirulina will be provided in powder form for a specified period of time during which tests (including RBC and WBC counts as well as the various circumferences of the body and overall BMI) will be conducted to investigate the impact of Spirulina and measure its success. This is highly feasible but will require the involvement of a number of stakeholders. A smaller scale study can be conducted at the village level spearheaded by an authorized doctor to gather basic physical information and convince the locals of its value. Product recognition and an increase in demand for Spirulina by various categories would be a strong indicator of the success of the project. Humans are undisputedly rational beings and would be inclined towards a product proven to be excellent for health. Government and Non-Government recognition and partnership is another means of evaluating the success of the project.

Plans for implementation and sustainability

Upon the establishment of decentralized units, a percentage of that production will be distributed among the women of the Association for consumption or to sell locally either in powder form or in edibles. We would then provide a market for the rest their production by selling to the institutional market collectively under the Enterprises brand. From the proceeds of their products, the microfinance loan will be repaid and the women will receive an allowance and the balance will be saved in an account awaiting a series of consultations and priority ranking sessions with the community to establish other alternative sustainable livelihood projects and address the highest priority needs-based development requirements based on funds available and those that can be sourced elsewhere on their behalf. Our business model based on the production and marketing of Spirulina (and Spirulina based products in later phases) using a three tier price discrimination strategy. The aim is to offer affordable Spirulina to the vulnerable segments of the population by cross subsidizing the losses resulting from low Funding Sources: Grants and Donations from Organizations or Individuals, Proceeds from the sale of our products including Manufacturing Value added in the processing stage, Fund raising activities, Government subvention. Locally we will collaborate with the Amdalie Womens. Nationally we will solicit the partnership of Government office such as National Nutrition Agency, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Agriculture, Food Technology Services, National Aids Secretariat and Private Institutions such as MRC and other hospitals and clinics, local NGOs, CSOs and CBOs. Internationally we will solicit technical support from TechnAp and partnership with International Organizations such as UNICEF , WFP, FAO, WHO and UNHCR as partners and potential buyers of Spirulina for the vulnerable populations they support.

Your profile

I am a 24 year old graduate from the University of Leeds, UK in July 2012 with a BA in International Relations. I am mixed British and Gambian, I grew up and completed high school in The Gambia and moved to the UK for College and University in 2006. Growing up, I was a member and activist for Lend a Hand Society by age 8 and the Nova Scotia Peer Health Program by age 13. I have been resident in The Gambia for the last 18 months where I interned and subsequently worked at the Children and Community Initiative for Development as a Program Officer for a period of 14 months which ended April 30th this year. I also volunteer as a Program Coordinator for Lend A Hand Society. My motivations for initiating such a project grew out of my observations during my work experience that, while funding from various donor agencies goes a long way in addressing and reliving social issues affecting communities, this is not sustainable in the long run. Hand outs encourage and contribute to the ensuing culture of dependency already recognized as a major hindrance to development. Establishing decentralized Spirulina production sites will provide a steady stream of income, allowing people to help themselves break out of the cycle of poverty by earning a dignified living. I am an empathetic, optimistic and energetic person with a flexible and accommodating approach to dealing with people. I am extremely passionate about development and relieving its surrounding issues in a sustainable and economically viable way. I am a strong believer in the general principle of giving people a Hand- Up as opposed to a Hand- Out. I am one to pay exceptional attention to detail and bring forth an unparalleled work ethic and determination to succeed.

Stage of Idea

planning stage

Your idea has a positive impact on

environment, education, health, food security, poverty reduction, sustainable trade, empowerment of women, youth, other:

At the Senegalese Institute for Agricultural Research, Bambey, Senegal- Spirulina Production in process.

First Logo Draft for Survival First

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July 6, 2014 11:05

I have just voted you as number 3. Simultaneously vote me at: