Moshi. Individuals,enterprises and local organizations in Tanzania have a kitty of one billion shillings (or 400,000 Swiss francs) to win in a global contest to be organized by a Swiss-based Ashoka entrepreneur group and a leading food brand in the world, Nestle.
Winners of the 2018 Nestle Creating Shared Value (CSV) Prize will also be invited to share opportunity at the World Water Forum in Brazil next year and get the prestigious Ashoka Fellowship.
Initially launched in 2010, the initiatize aims to held address challenges in nutrition, water and rural development supporting Nestele’s drive of enhancing quality of life and contributing to a healthier future.
The Moshi-based Natural Extracts Industries (NEI) were winners of the prize last year through its successful story in vanilla cultivation, according to Marsha Macatta-Yambi, an official at Nestle, Tanzania branch.
“The company’s (NEI) vanilla natural extraction is a successful story that has continued to touch the lives of many farmers in Kilimanjaro and beyond”, she said here, asking Tanzanians to nominate individuals and institutions for the contest.
An Ifakara-based Maji Safi kwa Afya Bora Ifakara (Msabi) non-governmental organization operating in Morogoro region emerged a second runners-up during the similar contest – Nestle’s Creating Shared Value Prize – in 2014.
According to Ms Macatta-Yambi,the NGO was awarded nSh. 245m by Nestle to enable it scale up its activities in order to reach out more people in Tanzania.
Two Kenya-based organizations were overall winners in 2014 and 2012 in the contest which is awarded each after two years “so as to replicate business oriented initiatives that address challenges in nutrition, water and rural development”.
Ashoka, a large global network of leading social entrepreneurs, has over the last 35 years supported 3,300 social entrepreneurs in over 90 countries with solutions in addressing society’s most pressing issues.
In selecting the winner, CSV prize council looks for projects that are innovative, those which apply environmentally sustainable practices and those which can be scaled up to help improve the people’s lives”, the official explained.
The Moshi-based NEI, which won the prize last year, is credited for being behind the sudden surge towards cultivation of vanilla in Kilimanjaro region and other parts of the country.
Currently, the newly introduced crop fetches Sh. 60,000 a kilogramme compared to Sh. 3,500 to 4,000 earned for a kilo of coffee, the main cash crop for Kilimanjaro farmers for ages until very recently.
NEI managing director Juan Guardado told The Citizen recently that they have been impressed by the speed the farmers in Kilimanjaro have learnt to intercrop vanilla for higher productivity.
“We provide each of our registered farmers with support and training on growing and cultivating. They have quickly learnt how to intercrop. Through this we have been able to double the number of farmers”, he said.
The firm makes a brand of flavour extracts called Epicurious Heldgehob which is made using natural ingredients that include vanilla,orange, cocoa and cinnamon.
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