GOOD 100: Meet Mohamed Ali Niang, Packing a Nutritional Punch in Food Aid
Mohamed Ali Niang is both the co-founder and CEO of Malô, which helps farmers find efficient, cost saving ways to produce rice while also fortifying it with essential nutrients. Niang hails from Mali in West Africa, where more than one-third of child deaths stem from poor nutrition, not to mention the recent armed conflict that has displaced hundreds of thousands of people who now are dependent on food aid. Malô aims to tackle this issue through programs like "Superheroes for Nutritional Security," an educational campaign bent on delivering nutrient-enriched rice to relief agencies, school meals programs, and needy households.
This year will see Malô scaling up operations with brand new headquarters in Bamako, Mali’s capital city. The structure will include storage capabilities and a processing capacity of over 1,000 metric tons per year.
“We want it to be a welcoming and vibrant hub for entrepreneurship and social change in Mali,” Niang says. “As such, the interior design for our boutique and offices, as well as the exterior of our building, should be designed with that in mind. The mood and the arrangements of these areas should reflect this philosophy and we would like décor to be innovative, culturally appropriate, and artistically appealing.”
Mali loses 4.5% of its GDP each year due to the devastating effects of vitamin and mineral deficiencies, and Niang hopes to change this with the "Superheroes for Nutritional Security" campaign that debuted this past May.
“We'll also be sourcing our raw material, paddy rice, from smallholder farmers including a 30,000-member farmers' cooperative,” Niang says. “We will pay them a premium so that they can be more resilient.”
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