«Likilimba of Rice»
"Likilimba of Rice" in 4 points
In June 2013n Mazao NGOD launced a project called « Likilimba of Rice » which has as a final objective to create a « social industry of rice» in the Tanganyika district.
1.Mazao set up a social enterprise (non-profit) as a transformation and marketing centre in the city of Kalémie and created a purchasing network of paddy rice produced by 600 rural families in 6 different village of this district. The factory is managed by a local and professional team (of 10 employees) who transform paddy rice in brown and white rice. The husked rice is bulk-bought by city women retailers who stabilize the price all year long for the population.
2.Trainings in post-harvest technics were organised together with the farmers of Magenge, Kamangu, Mahelo and Kasenge using participatory methods (PRA).
3.A pilot project in production and formation was launched in the valley of Masenge using the IRS method (Intensive Rice-growing System). The experimental field produced 8 tonnes/h.
4.Empowerment activities were conducted with all the different groups of stakeholders to facilitate transversa communication among them.
Mazao NGOD has developped an a innovative system of food-processing from village to city.
All benefits from the transformation factoory are re-invest to support project expenses and thus allow the project and its impact to be sustainable and long-lasting.
Thanks to the pilot project, Mazao has acquired a string expertise in terms of rice-growing fields, village producers, rice inductry, local market economy, opportunities and constraints to eventually expand its program "Likilimba of rice".
Rice upgrading and marketing
The rice currently produced in Katanga is not well processed (because people lack good means to supply hulling machines and other devices to process the rice after the harvest) causing the rice to be undervalued on the market compared to imported rice.
The project goal is to provide real value to local rice and to revive it in local markets as a quality staple and nutritional food to diversify food habits.
In addition, rice is sold at a price that makes it possible even for the poorest families to buy.
To achieve these objectives, Mazao created a social enterprise of rice hulling and built a decent warehouse for rice storage where women retailors come to bulk-buy rice at an affordable price throughout the year. Mazao also put in place several packaging (the Mazao bag "Mutchele Bora ya Kalemie") offering different types of rice and its collateral products (brown rice, white rice, broken rice, rice skins, rice flour ...). The optimization of rice production using each parts of the seed is part of the coherent process MAZAO is promoting according to its environmental principles.
Likilimba and community empowerment technics
In partner villages, MAZAO team offers community development activities to strengthen social cohesion and create self-structured and autonomous working groups.
In a context where farmers have abandoned traditional habits of solidarity at all levels of rice production (plant nursery construction, pricking out, hoeing, harvest) a better and participatory organization, like a system of work exchange (one day of work in the neighbors field and one day in one’s field together with the neighbors) can give farmers the possibility to increase their results and divide efforts.
This “work exchange system” in the area of agriculture and mutual assistance through joint community fund are common practices in traditional Congolese culture although they have disappeared or been modified in most cases. MAZAO also organizes participatory map planning based on community empowerment methods. These activities lead to the creation, by beneficiaries, of visual territory maps where key elements of a community are put forward. Thanks to these maps, one’s can have a better picture of communities’ needs and their mutual assistance system (likilimba).
Farmers’ capacity building cycles: trainings in post-harvest and IRS
Mazao ONGD is considering getting involved in the capacity building of farmers in post-harvest technics and introductory courses in IRS methods (Intensive Rice-growing System) for farmers via a combined methodologie (observation, practice, groups’ sessions, experimentation, participatory activities, etc.); participants will be not only trained to become experts in agriculture but also as promising actors of change of their own community by learning to manage rural groups and organizations.
Hence, they will have the opportunity to become multiplying agents of the process initiated by Mazao while always keeping in mind the importance of maintaining structures relying of small groups of quality instead of trying to expand to large scales.
During the trainings, farmers also learn to build their own instruments, use the remaining products of their field and stock food. Mazao is cautious to always look for local solutions to the emerging needs occurring during the work and lives of farmers. For instance, in the agricultural field, the creation or adaptation of instruments using materials that can be acquired locally is preferable to the importation of electronic instruments to avoid a dependence towards technologies that cannot be reproduced locally and will always dependent foreign aid. Moreover, in all its projects, Mazao ONGs fosters the involvement of socio-cultural aspects of the individuals in its community and the later analysis of its own reality.