Africa Improved Food’s Journey Toward Sustainable Nutrition

Children in Africa

(Credit: Unsplash.com)

by | Feb 16, 2024

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In the verdant expanses of Africa, Africa Improved Food (AIF) stands as an important piece of innovation through improved nutrition and locally sourced foods.

Since its establishment in December 2016, AIF has embarked on a mission to nourish millions of people across the continent, with a focus on the younger population, through sustainable practices and supporting a resilient agriculture system. After eight successful years in Rwanda, the organization is expanding its horizons, with children as its priority, ensuring they receive the nutrition necessary for a healthy future.

AIF’s Vision for a Sustainable Africa

Looking ahead, AIF’s vision for expansion is bold and far-reaching. With plans to establish new factories in Ethiopia, Nigeria, and Zambia, the company aims to scale its impact, reaching more than 10 million people daily by 2028. This expansion is not just about spreading geographic reach; it’s about deepening the impact on individual lives, combating malnutrition, and fostering a healthier, more prosperous Africa.

Supported by key partners such as the International Finance Corporation and the Entrepreneurial Development Bank, along with the government of Rwanda, AIF has invested over $65 million in cutting-edge technologies and innovative solutions to enhance nutrition across the continent. Initiatives like the Cob Sourcing Model have dramatically reduced aflatoxin levels, showcasing AIF’s commitment to quality and safety.

The food group says it has helped 90,000 smallholder farmers and will add a net incremental value of $1 billion for Africa over the first 15 years.

Reviving Sustainable Agriculture in Africa

The journey of sustainable agriculture in Africa is comprised of traditional farming practices, deeply rooted in indigenous communities which have flourished for centuries. However, this balance was disrupted during the colonial era, as monoculture farming and the introduction of cash crops led to soil degradation and biodiversity loss. The post-independence period saw African nations grappling with the dual challenge of reviving sustainable agriculture and combating food scarcity, amidst environmental degradation as well as climate change.

Initiatives focusing on agroecology and community-based approaches have sparked a renaissance of sustainable farming practices across the continent. From the fertile soils of Rwanda, AIF has emerged as a champion of this movement, leveraging local resources and expertise to produce fortified blended foods that nourish 1.5 million people daily. Products like Shisha Kibondo and Nootri offer a foundation for healthy growth and development for children and families.

The Impactful Journey of Africa Improved Food

Sustainable agriculture practices are at the heart of AIF’s operations, encompassing conservation agriculture, agroforestry, intercropping, and the use of organic fertilizers. These practices not only enhance the production of cereal crops but also contribute to environmental conservation, improving soil health and resilience to climate change.

AIF’s commitment to responsible sourcing further exemplifies its dedication to the community, with a significant focus on empowering local farmers and cooperatives, particularly women, who constitute 45% of its partnerships.

As Africa stands on the brink of becoming the world’s fastest-growing population by 2050, the mission of AIF gains critical importance. The company’s triple bottom line approach — integrating natural, social, and human capital considerations — reflects the interconnectedness across the world. AIF is helping not just to provide food but also helping to advance a sustainable Africa.

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