The Maize-Mill-Deal

Short description

Simply convert conventional foods into superfood! Without pills, without medication.

Which problem do we aim to solve and why?

Iodized salt or vitamin A enriched rice: solutions to  the lack of of some micronutrients have already been found. But what can we do about iron deficiency? The consequences of having not enough iron are drastic: In addition to severe impairment of brain development and thus symptoms such as reduced learning abilities, iron deficiency also leads to life-threatening anemia. In the western part of the world the supply of iron is sufficiently covered through a meat-rich diet. Unfortunately, many families in the Ivory Coast cannot afford to buy any meat. We want to provide a cost-effective coverage of the iron requirements.

Our solution

Maize is one of the basic staple foods in Ivory Coast*. It is particularly popular in the form of maizemeal. This, in turn, must be ground in corn mills. We would like to negotiate with the owners of the mills, to mix the sold maizemeal with an iron-containing powder, which can be obtained cheaply in Germany. Thus the iron requirement of children is covered by taking the usual food. Dietary supplements given as capsules or pills etc., which are according to Dr. med. Alexander Wende culturally prejudiced in this country [Germany], would thus become superfluous.

* [original German link]: or see relating site [English]

Why is our idea innovative, new and different?

For the deficiency of many other micronutrients, such as iodine, solutions have already been found as for example iodized salt. Against the deficiency of the trace element iron, however, there is still no remedy that is suitable for the mass. However, this plays an important role in Ivory Coast, since the main supplier of iron (fresh beef or pork) is very expensive and is not part of the diet of the local population. Contrary to conventional methods, to distribute micronutrients available as tablets, we distribute the substances in conventional form taking into account the cultural habits of the target group.

How is our idea feasible?

By informing the owners of the mills about the importance of iron, we are developing an awareness of the problem of hidden hunger in the target group, but at the same time we suggest a solution that can easily be implemented by the owners of the mills. This also strengthens the sense of help for self-help.

Which technologies, channels or methods are we planning to use?

The micronutrient powder should be produced inexpensively in Germany with existing machines. After informing on site, the powder is then delivered to the mill owners so that it can be mixed with the maizemeal and be used by the target group.

What outcome and what improvements do we expect? How do we measure these?

Healing for already existing diseases is not possible anymore, but the next generation will have fewer diseases due to iron deficiency. By testing the target group randomly after a while, it is possible to determine how the number of the patients will develop.

Our budget planning & acquisition of potential partners

Pharmaceutical companies (for the production of the powder) 3000 €; 1000 € for food research which helps to maintain a natural flavor of the food; 1000 € for the transport of powder; Partners on site, which have a connection to the population 1000 €; 3000 € for the negotiations with owners of the corn mills; 1000 € for unexpected problems.



The Maize-Mill-Deal

Team:    Lalit Mistry
Hamim Rahman

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