OpenIDEO is an open innovation platform. Join our global community to solve big challenges for social good. Sign Up / Login or Learn more

Noble Gold- Total Farmer Eco- Inclusive Partnership.

Transformation of rural agriculture to expand their farming operations aiming at improving the livelihood, self-reliance and sustainability

Photo of Kudakwashe Mawere
1 2

Written by

Lead Applicant Organization Name

Noble Gold

Lead Applicant Organization Type

  • Small company (under 50 employees)

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

The enterprise is supported through its partnership with various stakeholders ranging from national and international organisations, investors, research institutions, suppliers, government bodies, NGOs, other social and environmental enterprises. Panga banana organization- is a group of banana farmers with whom Noble Gold has a working partnership agreement under which the supported farmers after harvest sell their produce to Noble Gold factory. Batanai farmer group- is a group of local communal small grain farmers that receive inputs from Noble Gold. After harvest they sell their produce to Noble Gold. This project eco- inclusive farmer partnership is not targeting any particular region but has to spread country wide regionally and internationally.

Website of Legally Registered Entity

https://www.noblegold.co.zw

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

  • 1-3 years

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

Masvingo

Lead Applicant: In what country are you located?

Zimbabwe

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

Gutu and Honde Valley

What country is your selected Place located in?

Zimbabwe

Describe your relationship to the place you’ve selected.

Noble Gold is a company based in Gutu, Masvingo province in Zimbabwe with a vision to develop an Eco- innovative green Agro-farming and processing business supply value chain model under farmer out-grower contract farming. This innovation fights poverty and hunger in rural areas through an Eco- inclusive farming partnership. Under the scheme, the company provides agricultural inputs and equipment to rural small scale farmers who then after harvest, sell their produce to Noble Gold factory as raw material inputs.

Having a greater passion to contribute towards the attainment of the first two Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) ie; the eradication of hunger and poverty- particularly in rural areas through development of a sustainable model, we carried out a research consulting local rural farmers to identify challenges hindering their sustainable farming. We believe that communities should be at the forefront of identifying their problems and building effective solutions to address them. We realised that strong, prosperous, and inclusive communities are built upon engaged and connected citizens who actively participate in shaping their social and economic future. The survey noticed great potential within the rural communities the only drawback being lack of adequate support to fully capacitate their farming activities. As Noble Gold, we then offered an eco- inclusive partnership support to the farmers. This was a welcome development within the rural community which then saw the birth of this innovation model so as to develop self-reliant and sustainable rural farming businesses as a way to fight poverty and hunger.

Therefore through this business model, farmers have gone green as a result, they have managed to achieve greater efficient use of land due to increased use of organic inputs, solar powered technologies and processes innovations so as to increase productivity and reduce post-harvest waste.

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.

In Zimbabwe extreme poverty is disproportionately concentrated in rural areas where most people (67%) rely on agriculture for sustenance and incomes. Decades of economic recession have led to small scale farmers remaining highly underfunded as banks are hesitant to give out loans due to lack of collateral hence the ventures have not been successful. If communal farmers are not adequately supported, they may not achieve viable income levels, as a result, rural-urban migration will remain continuously increasing thereby increasing pressure on urban resources. This business model project therefore aims at transforming communal farming communities of the country into green sustainable self-reliance farming trajectory through expansion and diversification of revenue streams. The supported farmers produce the raw material crops required by the factory giving a reliable and constant supply of factory inputs.

Supporting farmers by capacitating their farming through provision of inputs and then after harvest the farmers sell their produce to Noble Gold factory as raw materials, is what separates us from others as the business model offers a rare opportunity for strategic investments to be made in a rural community focusing on promoting among others, communal farmers’ survival and development. Other organizations in the same line of business for example Sunspane, do not go an extra mile like supporting the farmers with inputs. Noble Gold provides local farmers with great opportunities to grow their businesses and capacitate them to care for their families. The enterprise offers inputs as well as advice on ecological issues and encourages farmers to use renewable energy sources and organic fertilizers.

Our factory innovative products are banana flour and banana fibre sanitary pads. Banana flour is blended with other small grain crops to produce various cereal porridges. Currently in Zimbabwe there is great short supply of wheat resulting in extreme shortage of wheat flour. This is the problem we are solving with our innovative banana flour.

Sanitary pads- a by-product produced from extracted banana stem fibre thereby utilizing all the biomass from the banana tree. Sanitary pads currently used in Zimbabwe are imported from South Africa making it expensive hence a lot of women cannot afford it. In Zimbabwe, women’s usage of hygiene products is limited due to lack of affordability, little availability in rural areas and issues with proper disposal. It is estimated that rural girls miss up to 50 days of school each year due to a lack of sanitary pads and women miss work for the same reasons. As Noble Gold, we call for zero tolerance to menstrual stigma and discrimination. Menstruation is natural, Noble Gold supports the girl child and women through they have the right sanitary products to use during their precious time.

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

150

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

1000000

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

In Zimbabwe extreme poverty is disproportionately concentrated in rural areas where most people (67% of the population) rely on agriculture for sustenance and incomes. Globally, green input efficiency has significantly improved agriculture however many of these gains have not benefited Zimbabwean rural farmers and this have resulted in a greater need to assist these rural communities so as to improve their livelihoods through efficiency in energy uses, resources and raw materials. Due to greater levels of poverty, most farmers can no longer afford certified planting seed. They use grain from their previous harvest as planting seed for the current farming season. With this scenario, the yield is continuously decreasing from one farming season to another thereby rendering the farmer becoming poorer and vulnerable to hunger. It is against this backdrop that small-scale farmers don’t get high level harvesting potentials.

A large proportion of Zimbabwean population is rural based. Decades of economic recession in Zimbabwe have led to a major shift from waged employment to informal economic activities. This economic down turn, has lead to a number of urban industries closing businesses. The few that have remained operational cannot sufficiently adsorb the general populace into decent wage earning employment. This has resulted in the employable populace forming informal businesses giving a sharp increase to informal SMEs as well as small scale farming operations. However these informal ventures have remained highly underfunded as banks are hesitant to give out loans due to lack of collateral hence the ventures have not been successful. The result has stunted growth in the sector, and unfortunately this has affected small-scale farmers most severely as they have no collateral to offer when they approach banks for loans. Lack of funds has resulted in production levels remaining very low. This has adversely affected the economy of Zimbabwe considering the historical economic significance of the agricultural sector as a number of manufacturing industries strongly depend on the sector. It is therefore through this business innovation support model that the company is different from others as it supports these rural agricultural operations so as to improve and provide decent livelihoods to rural communities. If communal farmers are not adequately supported, they may not achieve viable income levels, as a result, rural-urban migration will remain continuously increasing thereby increasing pressure on urban resources. This business model project therefore aims at transforming communal farming communities of the country into green sustainable self-reliance farming trajectory through expansion and diversification of revenue streams.

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

This business model was developed so as to create a bigger impact in Zimbabwe to address the problem of rural communities’ poverty and hunger as it aims at introducing an innovative total farmer inclusive partnership model that breaks the cycle of intergenerational hunger and poverty among rural smallholder farmers who have remained poor despite being in farming for decades. As Noble Gold after realising how difficult it is for the rural communal farmers to access funding opportunities and green entrepreneurial skills , the company noticed a need for supporting these farmers in adopting sustainable green agricultural practices that can enable them to realize their full potential and grow their farming businesses and integrate them into the mainstream economy through an inclusive partnership. This business model, seeks to solve inter-connected developmental problems like damage to the environment, high levels of youth unemployment, low formal growth entrepreneurship and unsustainable SMEs growth in Zimbabwe. Noble Gold has gone greener in resolving these challenges as it assists its supported farmers to acquire solar powered water pumps so as to avoid air pollution from emissions from diesel powered water pumps and utilise renewable energy.

Sanitary pads- a by-product produced from extracted banana stem fibre thereby utilizing all the biomass from the banana tree. Currently banana stem fibre is not utilized as it is just cut and is left to rot on the ground. Millions of girls in Africa, and around the world, are forced to miss school because they cannot afford sanitary pads needed during their menstrual periods. By bringing this product into the market, a startup changes the girl child’s life style in managing their menstrual period requirements. This innovation will bring into the market an extremely cheaper sanitary pad which every girl child would afford (the Earth-friendly and inexpensive pads).

The project innovation helps to eliminate post harvest losses as the factory provides a ready direct market for the produce. It is against this back drop that the business innovation model provides a factory that manufactures value added products.

Under this business innovation model, Noble Gold comes up with some tailor made packages that assist the farmers by proving them with all their necessary green agricultural inputs, equipment and operational support services. This in turn gives a higher output and effective coordination along the proposed value chain as a result more crop harvest would be brought to the factory as inclusive market for the farm produce from the supported farmers. This relationship is of mutual benefit to both sides as the farmers, sale their produce at better prices and the factory also gets a constant and stable supply of the required raw materials.

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 main beneficiaries of this innovation project are the rural communal farmers who face challenges in accessing funding opportunities to enable them to realize their full potential and grow their farming businesses and integrate them into the mainstream economy. Decades of economic recession in Zimbabwe have led to a major shift from waged employment to informal economic activities. Small scale farmers in all sectors have suffered due to the deteriorated business environment and are unable to access finance and business development services, severely affecting their growth and sustainability. This has resulted in agricultural sector being underfunded, as banks are hesitant to give out loans to rural small scale farmers as they have no collateral to offer against the loans. This has adversely affected the economy of Zimbabwe considering the historical economic significance of the agricultural sector as a number of manufacturing industries strongly depend on the sector.

The company selects small holder farmers who are trained on how to productively do banana and papaya farming then import for them certified nursery plants from South Africa. At least five small scale farmers in every sector of our main raw materials (maize, millet, sorghum and wheat) are selected then work out a tailor made scheme that would provide agricultural inputs. After harvest, the farmers will then sell their farm produce to Noble Gold. The model will also address gender disparities as women are vital contributors to farm work. Addressing this gap will help households women become more productive and increase incomes within poor families.

Through our business proposal, rural small scale farmers will be assisted to access the much needed agricultural inputs and certified planting materials that will help boost their farming activities.  The aim of this model is to expand and diversify the farmer’s revenue streams.

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

Noble Gold is a company based in Gutu, Masvingo province in Zimbabwe with a vision to develop an Eco- innovative green Agro-farming and processing business supply value chain model under farmer out-grower contract farming. This innovation fights poverty and hunger in rural areas through an Eco- inclusive farming partnership. This is achieved by contributing to the transformation of rural agriculture by fully supporting the local farmers through the capacitating of the drive to expand their farming operations through provision of inputs with a greater emphasis on promotion of decent youth and women employment. This business model, seeks to solve inter-connected developmental problems like damage to the environment, high levels of youth and women unemployment, low formal growth entrepreneurship and unsustainable SMEs growth in Zimbabwe. Under the scheme, the company provides agricultural inputs and equipment to rural small scale farmers who then after harvest, sell their produce to Noble Gold factory as raw material inputs. Through this business model, rural agricultural is being supported to improve and provide decent livelihoods to rural communities. This has transformed rural farming and has managed to improve production by over 30% resulting in communal farming communities becoming sustainably self-reliant farming trajectory through expansion and diversification of revenue streams

The scheme covers every spectrum of the company’s main raw materials concentrating mainly on banana and small grain crops. Using bananas as main input material avoids annual ploughing of farm land and therefore reduces erosion. To date the company has a staff turnover of 5 employees and 65 farmers are benefiting as they receive the necessary input (seeds and planting material) and are sustainably providing for their families.

The company champions the idea of green rural industrialisation hence strongly advocates for rural businesses to engage in green innovative value addition, and not just concentrate on selling unprocessed raw products. This rural industrialization concept goes a long way in developing the local rural areas. It is also a model that we encourage the government to adopt as a model of vision to establish at least one manufacturing firm in each and every rural district.

Currently in Zimbabwe, bananas are just sold as raw no company is processing them to value added products.  The company’s mission of setting up a green food processing factory right in the middle of a rural community of Gutu is critical in creating local decent employment thereby curbing rural-urban migration. This business model was developed so as to create a bigger impact in Zimbabwe to address the problem of rural communities’ poverty as it aims at introducing an innovative total farmer eco- inclusive partnership model that breaks the cycle of intergenerational hunger and poverty among rural smallholder farmers who have remained poor despite being in farming for decades. All the small grain crops covered under the scheme are drought-resistant crops this therefore strengthens resilience and adaptability to climate change in rural farming.

Banana is the main raw material to manufacture the main product components which are ‘banana flour’ and ‘banana concentrate powder’.  Since flour is almost a staple needed for every household breakfast meal this gives us a biggest market opportunity for the product. The project innovation helps to eliminate post-harvest losses as the factory provides a ready direct market for the produce. It is against this back drop that the business innovation model provides a factory that manufactures value added products. This business model helps to build a green “farmer-input-product-market” connectivity bridge under contract farming along the “farmer-factory-consumer” supply value chain as a result this positively improves the livelihoods of the rural communities.

We also manufacture bio- degradable (eco-friendly) sanitary pads and Bio- liquid fertilizer as by-products. Sanitary pads are made from fibre that is extracted from the banana stem. Bio- liquid fertilizer is manufactured from the shavings that are produced from fibre extraction and the resdue organic matter is composted for manure thereby utilising all the bio-mass from the banana tree.

How did you hear about the Food System Vision Prize?

  • Website

Attachments (1)

1 comment

Join the conversation:

Comment
Spam
Photo of Kehinde Fashua
Team

Hi Kudakwashe Mawere  welcome to the Food System Vision Prize Community! It's great to see you draft a vision about agricultural sustainability in Gutu and Honde Valley.
Even as we begin the countdown, please 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 finalized by 31st January, 5:00 pm EST.