April 10, 2015
Building the Zambian Market for Orange Provitamin A Maize Meal
ASI Awarded the AgResults Zambia Biofortified Maize Pilot
The AgResults Initiative awarded Agribusiness Systems International (ASI) the contract to serve as Pilot Manager for the AgResults Zambia Biofortified Maize Pilot. This initiative will support the introduction of provitamin A (PVA) enriched “orange” maize meal into Zambian commercial markets and aims to develop those markets to reach an even larger segment of the population.
Combatting Vitamin A Deficiency
According to the World Health Organization, vitamin A deficiency results in blindness for close to half a million children each year, half of whom die within one year of going blind. Despite recent decreases in deficiency rates, vitamin A deficiency remains a public health concern in Zambia, particularly in the northern part of the country. However, maize biofortification is a low-cost and effective method to combat vitamin A deficiency.
Incentivizing Market Players to Invest in Provitamin Maize
AgResults aims to increase private sector investment in food security and agriculture globally. Through economic incentives - or “pull” mechanisms - provided to implementing organizations, AgResults promotes private sector investment where it is absent or hindered due to market uncertainties.
The Pilot will encourage millers to create demand for PVA orange maize and produce quality maize meal and other maize products, developing a robust market for this nutrient-rich food. In the first year, interested millers submit a marketing and sales plan explaining how they will market, and sell biofortified provitamin A maize meal. Five to seven millers will be awarded a grant of up to USD $50,000 each to contribute to the initial costs of implementing their sales and marketing plans to achieve market penetration.
At the end of the first year of the Pilot, the pre-qualified millers will be eligible for subsidies on a per-unit basis. Each miller is guaranteed a USD $50 payout per ton of biofortified PVA maize meal sold after selling an initial threshold of 1,000 metric tons of PVA maize meal.
In the subsequent three years of the Pilot, millers will jointly strive to achieve yearly thresholds to share a USD $2,250,000 pool of funds disbursed over three years. To ensure sufficient PVA orange maize market penetration, millers will need to collectively sell a minimum target of biofortified vitamin A maize meal before receiving the grant funds.
About the AgResults Initiative
The Zambia Biofortified Maize Pilot is one of multiple pilots being implemented under the $118 million multilateral AgResults Initiative, which is financed jointly by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the governments of Australia, Canada, United Kingdom, and United States. AgResults is currently implementing pilot projects in Nigeria, Kenya, and Zambia, and will soon launch a pilot in Uganda. ASI, an affiliate of ACDI/VOCA, also manages the AgResults Kenya On-Farm Storage Pilot. For more information about the pilots, visit the AgResults Initiative website at www.agresults.org.