With their climate smart avocado, beans and bees project, Birk Agri Company is the winner of the Mobilising More 4 Climate (MoMo) Tanzania Challenge 2019. With this project they contribute to climate adaptation and mitigation in Tanzania. 

Birk Agri Company creates an inclusive economic activity with sustainable tangible benefits without losing land resources. This is achieved by combining the production of beans, avocado and bee keeping in the Tanzanian Southern highland region of Iringa. The projects contributes to local food productivity, reversing loss of natural resources and climate mitigation action.  

€ 25,000 seed funding

The grant award of € 25,000 starting capital will be used to do market research and improve the business plan. Moreover, it will be used to expand the plantation and bee keeping by 50 acres of land in two villages. Besides the financial support, Birk Agri will be provided with the expert advice and network of the SAGCOT Centre.

The finals took place on Tuesday 5 March at the SAGCOT Centre in Dar es Salaam. Where the 5 most innovative MoMo Tanzania finalists pitched their business proposal to a live audience. MoMo4Climate, an initiative of IUCN NL, is a competition for business models that contribute to climate mitigation or adaptation in developing countries. In Tanzania, MoMo is developed in partnership with the SAGCOT Centre and the Netherlands Embassy in Tanzania. These 3 parties brought together ground breaking local climate business cases to boost sustainable entrepreneurship and climate adaptation in Tanzania.

CEO of the SAGCOT Centre, Mr. Kirenga, states that "the SAGCOT Centre aims to catalyse responsible and inclusive agricultural investments in Tanzania's Southern Corridor. To this regard, we promote sustainable entrepreneurship in Tanzania and recognise the highly added value of the MoMo4Climate challenge in this region. In this competition we saw ambitious agricultural climate proposals that were strengthened by coaching on business case development and all stand a great change for success. MoMo Tanzania is another milestone for a commercially viable and sustainable agriculture sector in Tanzania".  

Promising proposals 

MoMo Tanzania received 50 high-quality proposals. All of which aiming to achieve impact on climate adaptation or mitigation in the land use sector, agriculture, water, forestry, recycling, waste management or nature conservation. These proposals were assessed by an expert panel of Tanzanian and Dutch experts, who nominated the 5 most promising proposals for the final. Birk Agri’s proposal for avocado’s, beans and bees won MoMo Tanzania 2019.  On behalf of the jury panel Romie Goedicke, Senior Expert at IUCN NL adds “We can only combat climate change by bringing together all stakeholders and by mentoring and grooming business cases that can ensure more capital is flowing to support sustainable landscape development that meets the demand of all stakeholders. Over the past months we have seen the proposal of each of the finalists evolve and mature. Birk Agri was chosen as a winner based partly on the vote of the public, but also because it combined a number of benefits such as trees and soil fertility, a clear business case and strong team.”

On behalf of BIrk Agri Shukrani Biseko, co-founder and director says that We will use the fund to mainly establish a soilless nursey of at least 5,000 seedlings and expanding our existing operation by at least 50 acers. Apart from the obvious advantages of the avocado (as tree) to the environment, the benefits of bees is apparent in enhancing food productivity through pollination. Approximately, 1/3 of all food is dependent on pollination. Therefore, this soilless nursery innovation will minimise the amount of polybags used by many tree and avocado nursery operators and consume significantly less water.”

Big companies, scientists and global leaders are busy seeking solutions to climate change, but a growing number of experts in the field think that another group could play an even more fundamental role: entrepreneurs. This is why the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs supports initiatives like Mobilising More 4 Climate to guide entrepreneurial ideas with strong potential to positively impact climate mitigation or adaptation projects that are ‘investor-ready’. 

MoMo continues to mobilise 

MoMo 4 Climate is an initiative of the Dutch National Committee of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN NL) and the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In Tanzania, MoMo is embedded in the SUSTAIN Africa programme. SUSTAIN Africa is coordinated by the IUCN Global Water Programme and works to facilitate inclusive and climate resilient greening of growth. This is done by linking practice on the ground to policy change at corridor and Africa-wide level. SUSTAIN integrates water, land and ecosystem management with sustainable business. Which corresponds well with the aim of the MoMo initiative; to guide ideas with potential for a positive climate impact to projects that are 'investor-ready'.

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