This reflection paper focuses on the baobab value chain in the north of Manica Province, and specifically on the interactions between women baobab collectors and Baobab Products Mozambique (BPM), as BPM seeks to develop its inclusive business model.
For the last three years, the commercial interactions between BPM and the communities, particularly the women who collect the baobab fruit, have taken place in the context of a LEGEND-funded project implemented by Micaia Foundation. Micaia’s project sought to address two central problems:
- Women baobab harvesters have little or no control over the baobab trees or fruit in the current value chain.
- Women harvesters’ livelihoods are vulnerable to the rapid, uncontrolled deforestation of the baobab zone – a result of a lack of effective land governance and natural resource management.
The annual sale of baobab fruit is one of the very few sources of cash in the dry north of Manica Province. Since 2013 Micaia has been working with women baobab fruit collectors, and in 2015 Eco-Micaia Ltd established a subsidiary company dedicated to creating a more valuable and sustained market for the women, while opening the company up to active participation by representatives of the women collectors. Micaia’s LEGEND project sought:
- To secure tenure rights and management arrangements in relation to the baobab resource for women fruit collectors
- To help to integrate the women into the Baobab Products Mozambique (BPM) value chain
The linked project, supported by the private foundation, focused on building the technical skills and knowledge of collectors, developing a programme of informal learning, and supporting development of collectors’ organizations.
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MICAIA Foundation is a Mozambican non-profit organisation(NGO) that works mostly in Manica Province in the heart of Mozambique. Set up in 2009, we now reach more than 40,000 people and their families and communities. Our support is focused on enabling people to take action to change their lives for the better. Training farmers and supporting their organisations for example, helps them get a better price for their crops – which means they can buy more seed for next year or improve their house or keep their children in school for longer.