HISTORY

Inhambane province is centred in the central south eastern part of Mozambique, covering an area of 68612km2. In a survey done in 2003 by the United Nations this province was put as the poorest of all the provinces in Mozambique with an average family living on $1.25 a day. Due to a blooming Tourism Industry the province has moved from the 11th to 7th place in 2009. But even so 80% of the people still lived below the poverty line, with about 500 000 people in constant need of food assistance. Over the past 2 years this

 

has changed again as the world financial crunch and political unrest has caused people to avoid or cut down on their tourism travels to Inhambane by 60%.

Inhambane province is estimated to have about 600 000ha of coconut plantations, with most of the poor families having anything from 10 to a 100 trees.

At the moment the coconut industry consists of very big oil factories (using heat and centrifugal oil extraction proses), some small scale plants, extracting extra virgin oil and hawkers selling coconuts next to the main roads or shipping it to Maputo selling it as fresh coconuts. Most if not all of them make use from the communities for about 10% of what they are selling for.

VISION OF FIRST FRUIT

By only giving them aid, you are showing and also implying they can't care for themselves or their families. Our vision with this whole project is to empower the grower directly. We want to help add value to their crop. We have realized with our work that the only way to really uplift people is if you can give them dignity.

MISSION

We aim to have little shops (depot's) in most of the communities in the rural areas around Inhambane city, where we can buy directly from them everything they produce. At these points we can advise them on how to prepare their coconuts for optimum returns (certain sizes can be exported as fresh coconuts, oil, copra etc. depending on how it is dehusked) but also in managing their plantations.

WHO'S ALL INVOLVED

organic coconut oil. By having small plants in the communities, you cut down on the transport cost of shipping huge volumes of whole coconuts, just the end product, this helps realising an even better return to the growers. It will only be manual pressed plants ensuring a premium product. This will directly create employment in those poor villages. The bi-product (oil cake and copra) will also be sold.

Phase 3: With our Agriculture background we are able to advice, train and support them in all aspects of growing and producing coconuts. Later we want to include a coir plant. With this we want to make coir-mix compost that is much sought after by the nursery industry in South Africa. Many coconut trees become fire wood and it is therefore necessary to invest back into the land by starting up a nursery with latest international cultivars and replanting those trees.

WE ARE DREAMING BIG...

Phase 1: At the moment we collect coconuts from 5 points, with about 50 families supplying their coconuts at each point weekly. Currently we are only exporting premium quality and size coconuts to South Africa, with the plan to explore this to other countries as well.

Phase 2: Starting up little depots for the farmers to bring in their coconuts. We want to add to this venture a couple small oil plants in the communities to extract virgin

HOW CAN YOU HELP?

Understanding and supporting this initiative by securing and growing our market in South Africa and internationally.