In 2018, Mozambique participated in the first ever SUN Pitch Competition. Five Mozambican SMEs were among the 20 finalists that came from different African countries to participate in the regional final which took place during the Nutrition Africa Investor Forum in October 2018. Miruku Agro Indústria, a Corn Soy Blend (CSB) processing company won the DSM Nutritional Products Innovation Award at the competition and received technical support from DSM’s Nutritional Products South Africa office for a 12-month period focused on product reformulation.
In 2019, the SUN Business Network launched the second edition of the SUN Pitch Competition, which has grown to include countries from across both Africa and Asia, who are committed to engaging businesses for improved nutrition.
In Mozambique, 40 SMEs participated in local competitions which took place in 7 different provinces. The SUN Business Network in Mozambique organised the competition with the support of the Confederation of Trade Associations of Mozambique (CTA). 11 of the 40 participants were selected to join the final competition which took place on 17th December 2019 in Maputo. Each participant had the opportunity to pitch their nutrition solution to a panel of judges, which included representatives from:
- Banco e de Investimentos de Moçambique (BCI), one of the largest private banks in the country
- GAPI – Sociedade de Investimentos
- Instituto para Promoção das Pequenas e Médias Empresas (IPEME), a government led institution that provides assistance to SMEs
- Universidade Rovuma, one of the major public universities
Limpho, Produtos Alimentares, Lda., a micro company from Maputo was crowned the overall winner of the competition and will represent Mozambique in the Global SUN Pitch Competition. Their core business is focused around the production and distribution of peanut butter. During the SUN Pitch Competition, they pitched their most recent innovation – rice flour and biscuits. Limpho’s initiative is aimed at contributing to the reduction of post-harvest losses in the local rice industry. Their approach will also contribute to increasing the consumption of locally sourced food. Rice is rich in vitamins, carbohydrates and essential minerals.
To implement its innovative project, Limpho, Produtos Alimentares, Lda. is looking for an investment of $60,000 to acquire and install processing line equipment. Presently, the company has developed the product formulation and successfully pretested the product, which is expected to reach the national market in December 2020.
“As the winner of the SUN Pitch Competition in Mozambique, I am honoured to represent my country in the upcoming Global SUN Pitch Competition. Investing in nutrition has been the pillar of my business since the beginning and I expect to contribute to improve the nutritional conditions of my community”, Octávio Muchanga, Founder and CEO of Limpho, Produtos Alimentares, Lda.
In Mozambique, over 25% of food is imported and 55% of household spending goes on food. The local food processing industry is still in its early development stage. As a consequence, there is a serious problem related to post-harvest loss. Although food processing contributes $530 million annually to the national economy and represents 4.7% of Gross Domestic Product, this is still a very challenging area. The SUN Pitch Competition has brought these food systems issues to the forefront of the minds of Mozambican businesses.
In Mozambique, the SUN Business Network is funded with UK aid from the UK government.