Creation of Cooperatives/Associations for Production, Extraction and Transformation of Plants

Creation of Cooperatives/Associations for Production, Extraction and Transformation of Plants

Organization type: 
nonprofit/ngo/citizen sector
$1,000 - $10,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

The NGO, acting as an umbrella organization, and having as members of its projects committee representatives of 10 or more local organizations, will encourage and assist the development of between 200 and 500 new agriculture- related small businesses in the country. (20-50 small farming businesses surrounding and related to an ‘extraction workshop’ on the site of its member organizations

About You
Canadian Centre for Prosperity and Autonomy Lesotho Branch
Section 1: About You
First Name


Last Name



, QC

Section 2: About Your Organization
Is your initiative connected to an established organization?


Organization Name

Canadian Centre for Prosperity and Autonomy Lesotho Branch

Organization Phone

266 58470166 (Lesotho) 514 972 8642 (Canada)

Organization Address

P.O. Box 413 Maseru 100, Lesotho

Organization Country

, MS

How long has this organization been operating?

1‐5 years

Your idea
Country your work focuses on

, XX

What makes your innovation unique?

The extraction workshop will produce a protein-rich food supplement for designated underweight young children and for pregnant women
The development of the agriculture system based on the supply of a central extraction workshop which provides an immediate market and service focus. The emphasis on soil building means to promote agricultural prosperity. The promotion of autonomy of individual farmers at the same time as their involvement in consultation groups. The promotion of marketing as opposed to subsistence farming proposed by most other local NGO`s.
The coordination of the many farmers by one common project committee; the introduction of a local rotating fund with checks and balances for its respect…
The promotion of education of families of recipients of supplement and inclusion in gardening, to ensure sustainable nutritional status of the whole family.

Do you have a patent for this idea?

Tell us about the social impact of your innovation. Please include both numbers and stories as evidence of this impact

The initial impact has been in creating relationships between the Canadian initiator and local people, potential members of the projects committee, in order to work together in a trusting manner. Without this step, sustainability is not ensured A minimum of 10 project committee members have collaborated in one way or another with the initiator and we are approaching the point where all will work in a coordinated manner ex. in an upcoming funding activity in Lesotho.

Problem: Describe the primary problem(s) that your innovation is addressing

Initially lack of funds prevented frequent meeting of NGO projects committee members; reparation of equipment at crucial moments for demonstration to potential funders Lack of initiative amongst local participants has recently shifted.
‘Swimming upstream’ against the current dependency on ‘handouts’ influencing expectations of local people.

Actions: Describe the steps that you are taking to make your innovation a success. Include a description of the business model. What might prevent that success?

The business model : In each of ten focal groups (member organization sites) in the country,
a workshop for the extraction of leaves for the production of a protein-vitamin rich food supplement from chosen indigenous plants is to be set up. Surrounding each workshop, between 20 and 50 farmers will produce the leaf crop for the workshop, as well as intercropped maize-beans-squash; organic vegetables and/or herbs for consumption and market; Each field will be surrounded by leguminous trees with the intention of increasing the crop production (x3). Other organic agriculture /water conservation techniques will be utilized to maximize production and, groups of farmers will hold marketing consultations to increase the marketing possibilities and reduce costs of transport to potential local markets. A common rotating fund will be coordinated through the local bank for each farmer wishing to start up their small business and evaluation/monitoring will be provided by the NGO projects committee in collaboration with local area coordinators and their assistants. A manual created by the consultant and explained in training sessions will serve to standardize workshop activities as well as set standards for participant ‘conduct’ .but, area coordinators and assistants will be responsible for the day to day support of extraction workers and farmers.

The equipment for the extraction workshop can be as simple as a blender, two pots and sieve, or
as complicated as large scale grinder, separators, and large boiling square pots Even bicycle technology can be used for the grinding.
The projects committee will be constantly carrying out research in coordination with Canadian partners to achieve best production results at least cost, and most appropriate technology for the local situation. (consultation with potential partners at McGill University are underway)
The leaf crops, currently suggested by nutritionists of the Lesotho Agriculture Ministry, include stinging nettle, amaranthus and ,originally alfalfa. Research into the best crops for maximum nutritive value and capacity to produce an acceptable food supplement, are foreseen. including laboratory analyses, eventually in-country.

An initial community consultation with all stakeholders will explain the project and open the door for input to ensure adaptation of the model to the particular needs of each of the localities.

Step by step, consultations to create trusting relations between the project initiator and local representatives has been ongoing over the last year, and assisted by the presence of a Canadian ‘traveler’ in Lesotho, who has been assisting at two orphanages, now participating members in the project.
More information in comments

Results: Describe the expected results of these actions over the next three years. Please address each year separately, if possible

Year one- with adequate funds, each of the localities will hire an area coordinator , training will be carried out by the consultant, The coordinators will choose assistants for the extraction workshop and to support local farmers. An invitation to community members will be made at a community stakeholders consultation to participate in the project, Each household will be assisted to write a project request ( explaining the basic production idea, the startup cost, and expected income) and the projects committee will one-by-one evaluate the opportunity and possibility for loan from the rotating fund.
The consultant and/or coordinator will establish a ‘programme for micro-financing’ with the local bank with funds dedicated to a rotating fund
Supplement produced in the workshops will be offered to 1000 children and pregnant women .
Education about nutrition will be offered by area coordinators, assistants or trained village health workers for families of children and women receiving supplement.

Year two- evaluation of the results of the first year activities by the projects committee and NGO executive will determine the rate at which expansion or consolidation will move the programme forward. Ideally, a small cost of the supplement charged to families will assure continuation of the extraction process, in addition to sale of supplement in the larger community and sale of a byproduct as animal feed.
Establishment of annual community consultations will also permit adjustment of the programme to include more children and women receiving the supplement and /or more farmers producing leaf crop and vegetable/herb crops for sale. Another group of children and women will receive supplement.

Year 3-- increased markets for crops; increase in numbers of children in the country receiving supplement (many details that time does not permit to elucidate- or that the NGO committees will have to take on in consultation….) either more children in already established areas or opening new localities.
All actions taken to strengthen the unity of participants working in the project ex. Yearly gatherings to share results, periodic trainings, possible short term work terms of Canadian young people to help maintain integrity of the holding community consultations, meetings with individual farmer etc.
Ultimate establishment of a certification of organic products in the country.

How many people will your project serve annually?


What is the average monthly household income in your target community, in US Dollars?

$50 - 100

Does your innovation seek to have an impact on public policy?


If your innovation seeks to impact public policy, how?

Most development projects provide inputs or just give food. We wish to develop the concept that
people, and especially women, are able to build their own small businesses, can work together cooperatively and be responsible for small business loans rather than waiting for handouts which do not promote self-esteem and autonomy.
We also would like to promote organic agriculture as a means to improving the soil of the country.

What stage is your Social Enterprise in?

Operating for less than a year

Does your organization have a board of directors or an advisory board?


Does your organization have a non monetary partnerships with NGOs?


Does your organization have a non monetary partnerships with businesses?


Does your organization have a non monetary partnerships with government?


Please tell us more about how partnerships could be critical to the success of your Social Enterprise

The partnership with Ministry of Forestry will allow the farmers to plant leguminous trees around their fields (for free) and increase vegetable production . The Ministry will also provide cement and stone for water catchers for irrigation systems that will assist production.
The partnerships with the local NGO's ( members) allows us to work directly in the community with people having experience on the ground and find participants for the growing and collection of the indigenous plants.
The Agriculture Ministry nutritionists were the ones identifying the need of nutritional supplementation of the children and the particular plants chosen as substrate for the supplement. Their ongoing advice will be essential so our activities augment theirs for the elimination of malnutrition.
There is a movement in the country for NGO's to work together to reduce wasted time ,energy and money.(ex. Letsema group for orphans and vulnerable children of which we are members) As umbrella organization we can maximize the activities of each member organization by seeking funds and providing common training etc.
Permission to carry out the project was originally accepted by the Ministry of Health after consultation.

Partnerships promote unity of people as opposed to a common idea (or practice) that if a particular group is not included in a programme, they will take action to reduce or even eliminate its positive effects.

We would like to learn more about how your initiative is financially supported. Please explain your business plan/revenue model

Previously outlined

The Story
What was the defining moment that led you to this innovation?

In the 1990's a friend sent a write-up on the internet about a feasibility study from Sri Lanka that showed how leaf extracts from certain plants given as a food supplement could eliminate malnutrition in young children. As a question of justice, that all children should have the right to grow up healthy, I felt it was important to attempt to establish this project so that the UNICEF statistics that indicate the huge numbers of children that die each year before their fifth birthday start to show that children are receiving the care they deserve.

Tell us about the person—the social innovator—behind this idea.

The social innovator is not content to accept that funds be spent primarily on studies showing which people are most vulnerable to starvation and malnutrition but rather be focused on actions that will permanently modify the vulnerability, not by giving food, but by promoting the capacities of families to improve their income and express their potential so that they and their children can be well nourished and live healthy lives.

How did you first hear about Changemakers?

Through another organization or company

If through another source, please provide the information

Ashoka website