Company ProfileCommunity Markets for Conservation Limited
Community Markets for Conservation Limited (COMACO) is a company limited by guarantee. As such, it has no shareholders and exists to serve a cause or set of beneficiaries, and all profits are reinvested in the business. It was established in 2009, and is involved in agro-processing. It identifies itself as a “company of cooperatives”.
The organisation works with farmers in rural areas to provide opportunities to produce crops through an integrated model that includes agriculture, agroforestry, and apiculture. Their model is heavily conservation focused, so they promote an array of practices that have a positive impact on the environment, along with strong social benefits. At present, the organisation is heavily reliant on grant finance which is used to fund farmer engagement projects, with only 43% of revenue derived from economic activities, although it aims to become self-sufficient to maintain sustainability.
With support from EZCF. COMACO aims to;
- Expand operations to bring solutions and services to smallholder farmers in the districts around Itezhi-Tezhi and Mumbwa, and to establish an agro-processing facility in Mumbwa District, in a manner similar to what they have achieved in Chipata, Serenje, and Nyimba.
- Increase their farmer engagement by bringing on board another 8,800 farmers in the targeted area. The project area borders the Kafue National Park, and it aims to support farmers to sustainably produce area specific crops that can be processed and sold through the ‘Its Wild!’ range, resulting in improved livelihoods, and expansion of the brand, while supporting conservation.
Marketing, impact on people and the environment;
The project will produce groundnuts, soya, cowpeas, honey, and organic tomatoes. Products will be traded as is, or will be processed into peanut butter, yummy soy (fortified extruded soya and maize blend), cowpea snacks, and sun-dried tomatoes.
COMACO promotes integrated production systems that include agriculture, agroforestry, and apiculture, and work to promote soil and animal conservation. They are further working to have farmers organically certified to access premiums through export markets. Environmentally sustainable practices are promoted through provision of training and incentives for farmers. Conservation practices are being incorporated into the ‘Its Wild!’ brand. Further, the organisation works with farmers to convert reduced CO2 emissions into carbon credits, and revenue derived from this goes back to farmers with a percentage being provided to the community.
COMACO works with around 11,800 farmers in the project area, and aims to expand on this through establishing a new facility and operational area around Mumbwa. Farmers will be engaged through educational and media campaigns, and working with traditional authorities in target districts.
|Organic legumes and honey|