In Malawi, food insecurity and malnutrition are increasingly relevant concerns for the rapidly growing population. 51.8 percent of Malawians experience severe food insecurities and in 2019, 3.4 million people were undernourished. What’s more, nearly 80 percent of Malawians rely on agriculture for their livelihoods, leading to a deforestation-causing land crunch. From 2001 to 2020, Malawi lost 193,000 hectares of tree cover in its forests, equivalent to a 13% of the country’s total.
Moringa Miracles Limited (MML) seeks to combat these issues of food insecurity and deforestation by growing moringa, a nutritious tree that has commercial uses ranging from water purification to animal feed. MML produces organic, protein-rich leaf powder on the company’s farm, transforming barren land into a valuable resource. MML also partners with 20,000 smallholder outgrowers to grow trees on their own farms. The company is proud to be zero-waste, taking the biomass left over from its production process and using it as animal feed. As the company continues to scale, MML expects to plant 3.4 million trees by 2025 and sequester over 350,000 tons of carbon per year.
Moringa plants are valuable to the surrounding ecosystem, too. They provide shade for other crops to flourish and help keep moisture in the soil. When people plant moringa near streams and riverbanks, they stabilize the soil, reducing erosion and the potential for flooding. MML also uses the husks of the plant’s seeds, which normally go to waste, to filter contaminants from drinking water. In coming years, MML predicts that its filtering system will provide additional three liters of clean water per day to an estimated 166,200 people.
The company also prides itself on its social impact. MML predicts that their commercial success will lift over 325,000 Malawians out of extreme poverty by 2025 and inject over 1.8 million USD into the local economy from wages and seed sales in 2021 alone. MML maintains 50 full-time employees, with 50 additional temporary workers hired during peak periods. The company is an equal opportunity employer and emphasizes the importance of maintaining a balance between male and female employees.
MML maintains partners across the private and public sector, including USAID, KUDOS Africa and the Malawi Investment and Trade Center. These partnerships provide critical support for scaling up MML’s environmental and social impact. MML also participated in the 2018 Land Accelerator Africa, which provided networking and business development opportunities for further expansion. As MML continues to grow and double the number of smallholder farmers it works with through 2022 and 2023, their focus on environmental sustainability and social impact remains stronger than ever.