The failure rate of these agricultural projects have been high for a variety of reasons that are increasingly being studied with a view to correcting them for the future. One recurring reason for the high failure rate of development projects, in agriculture in particular, is said to be the lack of a sense of "ownership" in the projects by participants.
The interventions have traditionally been conceived away from
Apart from the fledgling efforts to make the necessary corrections to the traditional model of agricultural projects in
As well meaning as such aid projects may be, there are increasing discussions in
Mavuno Capital Alliances is an example of a company that has been spawned by the new thinking that is emerging out of the raging discussion about why so many agricultural projects in
Mavuno company representative Michael Swanich says, "Our philosophy is that Africans themselves should develop agriculture in
Identifying one impediment to achieving this which his company hopes to address, Swanich says, "Many agricultural project promoters in
All of Mavuno's projects are based on the BOT (Build, Operate and Transfer) principle. The company has a clear exit strategy for all its projects to enable local people to become agricultural entrepreneurs in their own right. Mavuno's vision is to develop projects for food security and local markets, typically involving crops such as maize, sunflowers, soybeans and wheat. It also is involved in projects for export and bio-fuel production.
The company provides a comprehensive service covering all aspects, from feasibility study to actual operations on the farm. The feasibility studies include a proper technical study of intended farming operations as well as marketing and logistics.
Mavuno also assists project promoters with whom it works to raise a part of their financing requirements on international markets. Specialized mentors, usually from
In other cases, Mavuno identifies high value projects for future development. In these cases, the company takes up part of the equity and manages the business operations with the intention to nurture local entrepreneurs for training and management buy-out after a period.
Asked about the genesis of the idea of setting up Mavuno, Swanich replies, "In the 17 years of my involvement in agriculture in Africa, I have been thinking about how to get agriculture really going on the continent. One of the solutions is to mobilize the wealth of experience of commercial farmers in
Started in early 2007, Mavuno's first concrete development is close to a town called Oranjeville in the
They are also at an advanced feasibility and business plan stage for self-promoted projects in
Swanich says, "In addition, we are assisting outside project promoters with feasibility studies and business plans in several countries. Among them are projects for biofuels from cassava in
Mavuno Capital Alliances is in the process of establishing its own investment fund to participate in financing of agricultural projects in
Project promoters are welcome to contact the company at firstname.lastname@example.org