Total loan: $50,000
Tsihombe, Toliara Province, Madagascar / Agriculture
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A loan helped to fund the harvest of seeds of 6,000 smallholder farmers in the south of Madagascar.
Njaka, 46, is a Malagasy agricultural engineer who got involved very early in his career in promoting responsible farming practices in Androy, Southern Madagascar. He lived in the region for the past 16 years and has worked in the farming business both for private companies, NGOs and engineering offices. In 2009, he created his own business, PhileoL, with two other business partners. Their main objective was to encourage local farmers to replant castor seeds in order to have revenues, and alleviate the poverty in the region. PhileoL transforms the seeds collected from these farmers and exports high quality oil in Europe. When creating PhileoL, Njaka and his partners set themselves a challenge: to set up a structured oleaginous seeds industry in Androy, a semi-arid region where ancestral traditions are very present, and produce oils that meet the European standards. For 6 years, they worked hard to develop and add value to this industry. Njaka and his partners worked to set up a network of castor seeds producers in order to secure their sourcing in a sustainable way. To date, they partnered with 6,000 smallholder farmers grouped in 12 farming organizations which receive technical assistance from PhileoL. They also promote fair business practices in the region and enable these farmers to have access to the international market. PhileoL started to export oil and seeds in 2010. These products are high quality and certified organic. With a modern oil extraction and production factory, PhileoL has exported more than 1,200 tons of seeds and 160 tons of oil during the last five years. For 2016, Njaka and his partners hope to harvest 270 tons of seeds and export 80 tons of oil. They need funds to start the seeds collection campaign. Thanks to your help, PhileoL will continue to help 6,000 smallholder farmers in Androy, where this activity represents the main source of income during the year.