Grantee: Mount Meru Millers Ltd. (MMML)
Project name: “Promotion, public storage and trade of soybeans in Tanzania and Zambia”
Grant amount: £999,952
Project start date: 8th July 2014
Project duration: 3 years 6 months
Countries benefiting: Kenya; Tanzania; and Zambia
Description of the organization:
Mount Meru Millers Ltd. (MMML), a subsidiary the Mount Meru Group, manufactures soft edible oil procured from locally grown oilseeds. MMML is currently the only processor in Tanzania equipped with a solvent plant which helps in the extraction of oil from cake. MMML has three production units in Tanzania: Mbauda, Arusha; Njiro, Arusha; and Singida. The company’s total crushing capacity is 50,000 Metric Tons per annum.
Soybean is an important crop with attributes that can potentially greatly contribute to soil health, human nutrition and health, livestock nutrition, household income and poverty reduction. Soybean is a cheap source of protein with no cholesterol in comparison to conventional legume and animal food sources. Its external input needs are far less than most other crops, and legume cultivation in rotation with other crops is recognized as a cost-effective way to maintain soil fertility. MMML will promote soybean growing among smallholder farmers in Northeast Zambia and Tanzania as a profitable rotation crop, and provide them with technical assistance, growing inputs, pre-financing and a guaranteed off-take through an out-growers’ scheme. Public warehouses will be established where growers and traders can safely store soybeans against tradable and bankable warehouse receipts. MMML will process soybean at its milling plants, producing refined soybean oil fortified with vitamin A + D as cooking oil and soy cake for the animal feed industry in Kenya and Tanzania. There is very little soybean production in Tanzania and Kenya and while Zambia is a net exporter of soybean, virtually none of it is exported to Tanzania and Kenya, which depend on imports of soybean, oil and cake from Latin America and palm oil from Southeast Asia. The project will promote intra-Africa trade in soybean by supporting smallholder farmers to overcome low productivity, lack of infrastructure and lack of financing, that currently keep them from growing soybean.