Social enterprise partners with African Union’s Great Green Wall to Build “Billion Dollar Baobab” Value Chain

  • African superfruit baobab could be worth $1bn to rural Africa
  • Incomes generated for 1,800+ women to date, transforming 11,000 lives
  • 12,000 new baobab trees planted, reversing desertification in Sahel

UK health food brand & social enterprise Aduna has partnered with the African Union led Great Green Wall to build a global value chain for baobab, the African superfruit estimated to be worth $1bn to rural Africa, creating sustainable livelihoods for 10m households

The Great Green Wall is a ground-breaking initiative to build and preserve an 8,000km wall of trees across the African Sahel; regenerating land, creating jobs & food security and preventing migration. The pilot project expanded Aduna’s existing baobab fruit value chain in Ghana and Burkina Faso, increased the capacity of its processing centre and implemented a land restoration programme. Results to date include:

  • Sustainable livelihoods created for 1,823 women from 44 communities
  • These women have 11,000 dependents whose lives have been transformed
  • Planted 12,000 baobab trees, with far-reaching impact on the environment

80% of Sub-Saharan Africans rely on the land to survive but desertification, caused by climate change, is making it impossible for communities in the Sahel to earn livelihoods. Here, up to 80% of land is degraded. Disillusioned youths are being recruited by extremists or seeking work in Europe. In 2020, 60m Sub-Saharan Africans are expected to migrate to Europe because of desertification. 

Aduna has championed the baobab as part of the solution to many of the Sahel’s challenges since it bought the fruit to market in the UK in 2012. Baobab trees grow in 32 African countries and are prolific in the Sahel. Drought-resistant, they thrive in even the most degraded land, sequestering carbon and fighting desertification caused by water and soil erosion. Baobabs are community-owned and produce a highly nutritious fruit in the middle of the dry season. The fruit is so abundant that the majority currently goes to waste. Selling surplus fruits creates valuable income for households.

Andrew Hunt: CEO of Aduna said:

“Over the past five years, baobab has risen from obscurity to one of the world’s best-selling superfoods and we are now seeing unprecedented interest in it as a food ingredient. This has been driven by its unique combination of delicious taste, health benefits and its ethical and environmental credentials. We are delighted to have joined forces with the African Union and the Great Green Wall to scale up our baobab supply chain and kick-start the creation of a new billion-dollar baobab industry for rural Africa, that can sustain 10m households.”

Elvis Tangem, Great Green Wall Coordinator at the African Union said:

Our partnership with Aduna is a pilot which demonstrates how an entirely new value chain can be created from village to shelf based on an indigenous tree crop. The outcome is a blend of land restoration and income generation. Our vision is to replicate this model with a range of different ingredients across the Great Green Wall. By connecting Sahelian producers to the global market we can create green jobs, reverse desertification and climate change and remove the need to migrate on an unprecedented scale.”

The pilot project expanded Aduna’s baobab supply chain to include 16 new communities in Upper East Ghana and for the first time, Centre-Sud Burkina Faso, bringing the total number of women impacted to 1,823. Together, they have 11,000 dependents whose basic needs are now met. It also increased the capacity of Aduna’s baobab processing centre by investing in new machinery, created a ‘Sahel Innovation Centre’ to enable the experimentation and piloting of other under-utilised crops grown along the Great Green Wall and initiated a community land restoration programme. As well as preserving new seedlings by assigning greater value to the fruits, 12,000 new baobab trees have been planted for future generations.

Baobab farmers - Aduna

About Aduna

Founded in 2012 by British social entrepreneurs Andrew Hunt and Nick Salter, Aduna is an Africa-inspired health food brand and social business. The company makes delicious, nutritious health foods powered by African superfoods, boosting the health of consumers while creating sustainable incomes for rural African households.

About The Great Green Wall

The Great Green Wall is an African-led movement with an epic ambition to grow an 8,000km natural wonder of the world across the entire width of Africa. A decade in and roughly 15% underway, the initiative is already bringing life back to Africa’s degraded landscapes at an unprecedented scale, providing food security, jobs and a reason to stay for the millions who live along its path. The Wall promises to be a compelling solution to the many urgent threats not only facing the African Continent, but the global community as a whole – notably climate change, drought, famine, conflict and migration. Once complete, the Great Green Wall will be the largest living structure on the planet, 3 times the size of the Great Barrier Reef.