Fund for African Rural Innovation Promotion

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"Dona" maize flour to BOP shops

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This venture has been approved by the FARIP board on 23. February. The maize price for grains has not increased this year (see here), so this year there is only limited money to be made with the stored grains in the silos. Farmers suggested to attempt to recover that financial gap by milling to wholegrain flour (dona) and selling flour to end consumers instead of grains to big traders and millers.

TBM secured the registration of a brand called “vijikweli” which is a combination of vijijini (=village) and kweli (=truly). Vijikweli therefore is understood to mean “truly from the village”.
A first donation allowed to get started with milling a first batch in July. Further milling and sales in Daressalaam are under way. Attractive bags were printed with the brand saying “Vijikweli dona, made from maize that was stored without chemicals”.

TBM established a small sales-point in Daressalaam to test the market and explore the mechanisms of distribution to small shops in the low-income sections of Daressalaam, where by far the most maize-consumers live.
Feedback from consumers is encouraging. Interestingly also because of the promise that there have been no pesticides involved in storing the maize before milling.
The challenge now is to expand the sales as fast as possible.

Short description of venture

This is Bahat Tweve of the company Tanzania Biashara Mapema TBM. He wants to introduce a brand of flour that is made from whole grain maize. It is called “Dona”. Dona is the typical local food in villages. In Tanzanian urban centers it is in increasing demand because even low-income people have become aware of its higher nutritional value.
The idea is to add value to the maize already stored in the metal silos in Msowero village in Tanzania (see here) by milling it in Msowero village and packaging it there into 5-10-25kg branded bags and then sell those through Transaction Security Services (TSS) directly to BOP outlets in Dodoma or Daressalaam. (BOP outlets are retail shops that sell directly to the huge number of consumers at the “Bottom of the Pyramid”). This will add value in the village, and through TSS make sure farmers also get a coin from the added value.
The innovation here is to link this added value all the way back to farmers though paying the miller for the milling. TBM will earn its share of the added value through a commission, ie. the added value is shared between farmers and TBM. Collateral benefits are a) improved branded food in urban centers for low-income consumers and b) an enhancement of the metal silo venture

Status of financing

USD committed

USD not yet raised

1.   First milestone: Purchase and mill 2 tons of maize to dona and package it for selling in Daressalaam



2.    Second milestone operational proof: More BOP outles in Dodoma and/or Dar and achieve regular supply



3.   Third milestone: Proof of scaling up concept with 30 tons. To be projected as TSS deal



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