Company has signed NDA with major African food company to co-develop moringa-enhanced products for the Nigerian market.
1 million trees have been planted, and 100,000 smallholder farmers in co-ops in southeast Nigeria have committed as growers .
Engineering plans have been completed for a factory utilizing unique phytosanitary drying methods for which provisional patent is being sought.
R&D agreement with food and health institute at major U.S. university.
Traditional farming methods of biodiverse perennial agriculture have positive impact on people and planet, and build carbon-rich soil organic matter, creating climate change resilience and mitigation.
There will be eventual expansion of cultivation, processing, and distribution operations to Ghana and Kenya, where partner relationships are established and there is GWV enterprise history.
KEY BUSINESS FACTORS
Trees Each farmer is expected to plant 5-10% of his/her land with moringa–approximately 500 trees on a typical 1-hectare holding. The suggestion is one tree per square meter (medium density) on a portion of the land to optimize efficiency. As of March, 2017, cooperatives had planted 1,000,000 moringa trees. These will be harvested for leaves, and produce enough seeds and cuttings for the 55 million trees required for full plant capacity.
Intercropping Intercropping with field crops and nitrogen-fixing plants, already common on local farms, ensures enough nitrogen is available in the soil to produce high-protein moringa leaves. Because moringa canopy is not dense, sunlight easily reaches intercropped plants below (ground nuts, cow peas, legumes, flowers), using traditional local methods of biodiverse perennial agriculture. Our data show that our moringa leaf yield in moist SE Nigeria is 2-3 times that of other places in the world.
Harvest Trees are pruned six times annually to achieve six harvests/year. Leaves are harvestable within 6 months or less of planting.
Transportation Harvested leaves will be no more than 6 hours old from time they are picked to the time they reach the drying facility. Nine collection vehicles each make 22 different stops during the day to collect fresh harvest from one “wedge” in a 10-15 km radius circle of of farms around the production module, The short distance to dryer and short-time processing model confers the advantage of minimal to zero microbial contamination.
Drying A proprietary process is used to dry the leaves from 80% moisture down to 5-7%. Our method is gentle on the molecular structure of the leaves, preserving key nutrients and green color.
Quality Control Quality is a problem for small moringa powder producers in Africa, particularly phytosanitation, color, flavor, etc. Keeping total leaf history to less than six hours before drying is a sustainable competitive advantage. Lab tests confirm that our processing methods eliminate microbial contamination.
Grinding and Milling GWV product lines will include dry leaf powder, seed oil and food supplements. Our high-quality dry leaf powder will be available in particle sizes from coarse (1.0mm – 1.5mm) to very fine (0.2mm – 0.5mm)
Local market 80% of the local market for moringa leaf powder production is dominated by cottage industry producers. Apart from these, about seven states in Nigeria operate state-owned test moringa farms and production facilities. It is our intention to capture 5% of the total market for moringa leaf powder supply in Nigeria over the next 5 years through superior efficiency and quality control.
Ancillary Revenue There are over 2000 small- and medium-scale animal husbandry operators within the catchment of our production facility. Byproducts of the production process (seed cake and meal) will be sold to these operators as animal feed.
Government Policy Nigeria has identified the long-neglected agribusiness sector as a route to economic development and food security, reducing the country’s over-dependence on crude oil export as the major revenue and foreign exchange generator. The National Economic Empowerment and Development Strategy (NEEDS) and National Export Promotion Council (NEPC) are aggressively focusing on fostering non-oil small and medium scale enterprise (SME’s).