Almost all of the people from whom BPM buys baobab are women. The women live in one of the driest parts of Manica Province where agriculture is difficult and life is hard. Baobab is a critical resource and a rare source of income.
These amazing women are leading the change in their communities, using income from Baobab to school their children, launch other small businesses, and invest in their homes. The women also receive support from Micaia, our partner in development. In the last five years, BPM has greatly expanded the number of women who supply the company. In 2016, BPM had 450 women suppliers. In 2022 BPM had supply contracts with 3,120 women and we anticipate having a similar number of suppliers in 2023.
An Environmentally sustainable business
BPM was set up by Eco-Micaia, a social enterprise
set up in 2008 in Mozambique by Andrew Kingman (UK) and Milagre Nuvunga (Mozambique). It is directly linked with Micaia Foundation (NGO). While Andrew leads the company and its work on natural products, Milagre leads the Foundation in its work helping people escape poverty and build sustainable livelihoods. Micaia Foundation’s project work incorporates most of the areas in which BPM buys baobab. This means that the company is able to facilitate opportunities for its harvesters to get access
to training, learning and practical support.
Current projects include: helping communities in the baobab areas undertake forest inventories and develop management plans for the natural resources that exist in the community providing a facilitated informal learning programme to help the women develop ideas for how they can invest (eg in other small businesses) the money they earn from baobab sales.
In each village the harvestersselect one of their group to be a Local Representative, a focal point forthe company.
Rita Balake is one of the mostdynamic Local Reps.