In the economically underdeveloped region around the town of Nioka there is great poverty, with many single women barely able to provide for themselves and their children as a result of the bitter civil war. The town, on the other hand, is surrounded by fertile fields that were once used to grow aromatic herbs but have since lain fallow. The Congolese company Avituri wanted to continue the old tradition, but needed support with the numerous preliminary steps, as the company had no experience in growing certain plants. Together with its main customer Nateva, a French supplier of native oils and flavourings for the cosmetics and pharmaceutical industries, Avituri applied to develoPPP with the aim of creating income opportunities in the economically underdeveloped region and supplying Nateva with high-quality essential oils in the desired quality and quantity.
In order to quickly develop the cultivation and production of essential oils, the project partners implemented the following measures, among others, between 2012 and 2015 with a total project volume of around 340,000 euros:
- Establishment of the necessary infrastructure for the large-scale cultivation of the oil-bearing cranesbill geranium.
- Construction of an oil distillery and training of technicians.
- Supplementary cultivation of eucalyptus trees, the wood of which Avituri uses to fire the boilers of the distillery.
- Training of workers, preparation and implementation of organic and fair trade certification.
Nateva contributed its expertise in international supply chains and staff know-how to the project. GIZ supported the project by providing material resources and expertise.
The support from develoPPP has made it possible to increase yields in such a way that Avituri has been able to establish a profitable agro-industrial business. The three-year project provided the necessary start-up support for this.
The partner company Avituri now employs 250 permanent staff and another 150 seasonal workers/suppliers, making it the largest employer in the region. Employees receive a fair wage for their work and support with school fees and health benefits. The money comes from a social fund that is linked to the amount of geranium sold. Thanks to certification, Avituri can now market its products at higher prices. In return, the French company Nateva has gained a reliable source of high-quality, organically grown geranium oil. Even after the end of the development partnership itself, Avituri has been able to increase production and the number of employees and suppliers.
develoPPP Classic is aimed at medium-sized and large companies that want to invest sustainably in a developing or emerging country and expand their operational activities locally. Suitable projects receive technical and financial support of up to two million euros in public funding.