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FOUNDER/DIRECTOR

Produce and process high quality honey for international market and advocate for the use of honey by food processing companies.

Photo of Mildred Mayondi
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Written by

Lead Applicant Organization Name

Chiwenu

Lead Applicant Organization Type

  • Farmer Co-op or Farmer Business Organization

If part of a multi-stakeholder entity (i.e. team), provide the names of other organizations and types of stakeholders collaborating with you.

No applicable

Website of Legally Registered Entity

https://Chiwenufarms.com

How long have you / your team been working on this Vision?

  • 1-3 years

Lead Applicant: In what city or town are you located?

Mwinilunga

Lead Applicant: In what country are you located?

Zambia

Your Selected Place: what’s the name of the Place you’re developing a Vision for?

Mwinilunga which covers an area of about 18759 km^2

What country is your selected Place located in?

Zambia

Describe your relationship to the place you’ve selected.

I was born and bred in this area, only left for four year to study at the university of Zambia in Lusaka. As such I understand very much the systems in this place in terms of culture, norms and the values that this society upholds. After my graduation I have been in the community for two years now,  volunteering with some of the NGOs in the areas so that I can fully understand the level of poverty, and other challenges being faced.

After conducting a number of researches, therefore I see the need for one to come up with projects or vision that will bring a massive economical empowerment to cushion the people from some of the problems or challenges they are facing. and see they benefit from this economical activity.

This place is important to me as I feel the need to come up with program that will not only have economical impact but also social by creating employment, hi ppfrom proceeds of the resale of high quality honey be able to promote women empowerment and education of the children through empowerment of their parents economically.

Growing up in this area made to understand about the cultures, the problems of the people and made me to vow that I must be educated and come back to this place to make a difference. Many people are living in poverty and there is need to advocate for more economical activities so that people can have access to employment and other benefits that come with operations of companies like social impact policies.


Describe the People and Place: Provide information that would be helpful for an outsider who has never been there and may have no context about this Place to better understand the area.

The town's elevation is 1387 m and it is one of the wettest places in Zambia with annual rainfall of about 1400 mm falling in the rainy season from October to May, has a long rainy season due to its proximity to the Equatorial region in the DRC.

 Due to high annual rainfall, which leads to heavy soil nutrients leaching, the predominantly sandy soils in the northern part are generallyacidic and infertile. The soils in the southern parts range from heavy sandy loam, sandy to clayey loam, and are less acidic.

 This zone is described as a cassava based traditional subsistence farming system; a form of shifting cultivation commonly known in Zambia as Chitemene. This is considered as one of the major causes of deforestation in the country.

The  people of the area are Lunda by tribe, who are believed to have originally come from Congo Dr during the Luba-Lunda migration. The main crops of this area are pineapples and cassava as earlier mentioned.

There is no much economic activities in Mwinilunga. The only company is Forest Fruits Ltd. which has been operating in Mwinilunga since 1998, successfully working with over 7000 beekeepers in the region to export organic honey to the European market.

Mwinilunga has more that 80% of people in rural areas. As the town is very small with most of the working class being government employees. And Agriculture has not played a major role as there are no commercial farmers due to the infertile soils.

The meals of these people mostly comprise of cassava nsima and vegetables, as most of the people cannot afford a decent meal. Other activities include fishing as the area has a lot of rivers and streams, though not for commercial.

Like any other community in Zambia. The people of this area have a their unique culture, which include circumcision of the boys locally called Mukanda and they have there traditional ceremony annually in September called Chisemwa Chalunda under the Senior Chief Kanongesha.

The hopes of the people is the discovery of minerals, which about three big mines (Kaseseli Gold, Kalaba and Zembesha) are expected to be opened and this is will create employment and also will  bring about  population growth of the town as this will come with a number of other economical activities, such as businesses and so on.

What is the approximate size of your Place, in square kilometers? (New question, not required)

18756

What is the estimated population (current 2020) in your Place?

127569

Challenges: Describe the current (2020) and the future (2050) challenges that your food system faces.

The first challenge that I have identified is the damage on the environment, most of the honey farmers or hunters as they are called traditionally are using traditional methods which involves cutting down trees or just removing some part of the tree(bark), which in most instances the tree dries up, to make the barkhives that they now place in the forest. This method has a negative impact on the environment as such there is need to come up with improved methods that will not impact our environment negatively.

As such am coming up with the introduction of modern beehives so that there is no cutting down of trees anymore.  I feel a mixture of both traditional and modern will bright out a successful story, as the modern beehives has the capacity to have more honey as the sizes differ, but a combination of modern beehives and the other traditional or natural way of harvesting will result in a high quality product that can tell the story and also large quantities.

The other problem with our food system is the usage of sugar in most of the food products with some of the people cannot consume to due health reasons, which I feel it can be honey can be used as sugar so that people with health issues can also have access to a wide range of food staff unlike them being left out due to none usage of natural sugar which has less effects on their health.

There is so much honey that it can be exported so that many can find employment with processing companies. Since the soils are not good for crop farming other farming activities like bee keeping can be encouraged so that people can be earning to buy food from other districts. But also the usage of artificial fertilizers can improve the crop harvest in the area but looking at the system of farming input support system in the country many are not benefit as the  distribution is usually late and the makes farmers not to yield enough to sustain themselves

Due to high poverty and lack of economical activities there is high prostitution rate, making Mwinilunga to be on the Zambian map for HIV/AIDS. Zambia as a nation is passing through a very hard time, there is so much hunger due the droughts experience in 2019 farming season, many people have resorted to wild wilds as the only means of survival. Mealie meal (Zambia's staple food) which was selling at 23 Kwacha in two some years ago is now at 200 Kwacah making it so hard for non earning households to afford it.

Health care is said to be free but most of the times when people go to the hospital they are given prescriptions to go buy drugs at the drug stores due to unavailability of drugs in the public hospitals. School fees are so high, just to mention a few but it can be said it is so hard for one to access basic needs especially the rural areas are feeling the pitch.

Address the Challenges: Describe how your Vision will address the challenges described in the previous question.

As earlier mentioned as I was listing some of the challenges being faced in this community.  My vision will create employment both direct and non direct. 

It will also empower many farmers or beekeepers as many are harvesting honey but due to lack of market and processing facilities this honey is usually processed manually, making the product to be of low quality as such they can not export it for them to make something to sustain their livelihoods. But with my Vision we shall work hand in hand with the local farmers set up a processing plant and be able to provide market so that they are empowered.

If other economical activities are encouraged people will be able to bring their honey ir processing, and buy  it for resale ,then they will be able to buy fertilizers to grow crops and do other things, like be able to send their children to school and this will reduce on school drop out in Mwinilunga.

The other impact my vision will have is when the people are empowered economically it will have a direct effect on their diets which will include the number of meals and quality. This will mean people will be able to afford three standard meals in a day unlike most are living below $1 per day. Mostly the meals are cassava nsima and vegetables, which is not a balanced meal as such there is high malnutrition related sickness especially in children.

Though my vision will not sought out all those challenges highlighted, I believe it will have both direct and indirect impact on some of them. Especially economical empowerment which greatly affects a lot of issues.

High Level Vision: With these challenges addressed, now provide a high level description of how the Place and the lives of its People will be different than they are now.

The lives of the people will be different than now for example when the process plant is in operation that means more than 15 jobs permanent and contractual  will be  created, more than 4000 farmers will have a place to sale their product as a result they Will now be able to buy enough fertilizers for their crops to sustain their homes, have improved diets as one will able to afford a loaf of bread, milk, in short be able to afford three quality meals a day as one can make a lot of sales and they Will also produce more due to the Availability of market.

The vision bulking the honey market is meant to empower the local beekeepers and also be able to produce enough for the readily available market for this very health product


Full Vision: How do you describe your Vision for a regenerative and nourishing food future for your Place and People for 2050?

My vision will address the environment issues by discouraging the cutting down of trees to make barkhives which most honey farmers are using, the introduction of modern beehives will bring a stop to the cutting down of trees, that will mean the forest is Being saved. As we all know that the cutting down of trees is one of the ways of degrading our environment. So what I will be doing is as I recruit the farmers, they Will be educated on the impact of cutting down trees and then introduce the modern beehives.

This vision has a two way impact on diets, the first is the usage of honey for sweetening, this means people that have health issues for example diabetes can have a range of food variety as they Will not be limited with by the sugar in the drinks for example.The other is when the farmers are empowered economically this will result in improved diets.

The vision has economical impact in terms of hob creation and also the market being provided to beekeepers will imply them being able to sale large quantities and as a result the will have enough money do other economical activities.

Coming up with a first grade processing plant will encourage a lot of people to go into this business as they Will have a place to take their products unlike the current situation where a lot are having challenges with selling their honey.

The vision will follow policies in terms of the quality standards by obtain the necessary documents and machinery to make sure the honey supplies on the market is of high quality. It's will no longer be  Most looked down activity as it has the capacity to create wealth for the family and the community at large.

by 2050 the company would have created more than 50 direct jobs and recruited about 5000 thousand farmers locally. From the profits of the sale of the honey, the company would have engaged in other farming activities in order to empower many youths and also give a learning place to women to learning better farming methods in order to enhance sustainable household food.

How did you hear about the Food System Vision Prize?

  • Twitter

2 comments

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Spam
Photo of Cortney Ahern
Team

Hi Mildred Mayondi welcome to the Food System Vision Prize Community!
Thank you for submitting your vision for sustainable honey in Zambia.
Make sure you have reviewed your final submission through the Pocket Guide to support you through the final hours of wrapping up your submission. This will give you the most important bullet points to keep in mind to successfully submit your Vision.
Here is the link to the pocket guide: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1o8WGMus6-V8GywWdlNwmCpk7I1fMVzcQ/view
Look forward to seeing your submission finalised by 31st January, 5:00 pm EST.
Thank you!

Spam
Photo of Mildred Mayondi
Team

Though am still failing to upload images let me try to convert them to the formats you mentioned... thank you!