Malo Traders LLC profile

Malo Traders LLC

Temple University and Purdue University

Malnutrition is a widespread problem in Mali, with 38% of the population suffering from chronic malnutrition and 15% suffering from acute malnutrition. Eighty-one percent of children under age five and at least 67% of women are anemic and in one form or another. This tragedy is compounded by the fact that, each year, the country wastes enough rice to meet the annual needs of at least 580,000 people and only 19% of land suitable for irrigation is currently cultivated. With continued population growth, demand for rice will continue to rise and render the current model of rice production and distribution increasingly untenable.

To combat these problems, Malo Traders LLC is developing a cross-cultural solution in which rice grown by small-scale farmers is purchased, stored, and fortified in a socially, environmentally, and financially sustainable manner. The team is currently partnering with GrainPro, the inventor of an innovative hermitic storage system that does not require the use of chemicals to maintain quality and safety. To fortify rice in a culturally appropriate way, they are utilizing PATH's Ultra Rice® technology, in which fortified rice is mixed with regular white rice to make it nearly identical in smell, taste and texture. The ultimate idea is to sell fortified rice at a cheaper price than imported and locally grown non-fortified rice, boosting output, improving quality, and helping Mali maintain political stability by meeting the basic nutritional needs of its citizens, creating jobs, and turning it into the rice-exporting country that it should be.

back to complete list of Open Minds 2011 teams