Development Crossing

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Sustainability

Food Security. Purpose/Scope

This précis provides a short summary of the rationale for Growfish without detailed market or financial projections. The full Business Plan can be provided to qualified interested parties upon request.

The Problem:

Food Security/Poverty/ Hunger

A food crisis of significant proportions is developing and its impact will be felt the greatest in Africa. In West Africa people derive as much as 75% of their daily protein from fish and this number would grow if people had more access to it.

Given the pressure on world fish supplies, the costs will rise dramatically while the availability will plummet. The following appeared in the July 14th issue of the Washington Post. “The Food and Agriculture Organization, a branch of the United Nations, has identified 36 "crisis" countries, 21 of which are in Africa. The World Food Program, another U.N. agency, estimates that it will need $500 million on top of what donor nations have already pledged to fill what the WFP calls a global "food gap."

The Solution:

Assured Food Security: An Integrated, Sustainable, Food Production System
Project Growfish has developed a proprietary integrated food production process that is affordable, sustainable, and environmentally sound. It produces both high quality protein and a cash crop of organic vegetables. The production system (shown here) will produce 5,000 Kg. of quality fish protein per growing season. Units come in a variety of sizes and configurations appropriate for the environment and local conditions. A system capable of being built locally from a set of plans and a kit is also available as an optional configuration.

Growfish represents a focused application of technology designed to make overall management simpler and the system easier to operate. The integrated package comes with a comprehensive installation and training program (see MVS Business Plan) to assure long term functional sustainability along with local management and control.

Business Model:

Social Business Model (a limited profit corporation)
GrowFish will operate as a -Yunus defined social business. Our stockholders recognize the social mission as paramount and our parent, MicroVenture Support is prepared to provide cooperative product and customer support in low resource countries. Growfish will sell its systems through MVS which works through select MicroFinance Institutions in targeted countries. The MVS will provide initial capitalization to their partners while the MFI will provide an ongoing financial resource.

After establishment of a demonstration system in a country, Growfish will franchise by region. The franchisee will provide local support (as an MVS venture partner) including fingerlings, seed, parts, service and liaison.

Competitive Advantage

The Growfish technology is a unique combination of low tech hardware and high tech knowledge. The system has been designed so that many, if not most parts, can be obtained locally in many places. The principal strategic advantage is the integration of both aquaculture and agriculture into a single growing model.

Our product is based upon over 35 years of experience in global development and scientific research. Our senior technical staff are consultants to the United Nations on aquaculture and are pioneers in the technology and application of combined aquaculture, aquaponics, and agriculture methods


Principal Benefits
Our program provides two significant benefits to the owner. The first is Food Security in the form of low-fat, high-quality protein. The second is a crop of organic vegetables in sufficient quantities and quality to provide a cash crop for sale. Specific quantities will depend upon the capacity of the GrowFish unit.

Our primary customer will be MVS and other NGOs who see food security and sustainability as part of their overall mission. Our staff will train and equip our alliance partners to effectively provide the level of support needed to sell and service the Growfish product. MVS will, through its SME venture partners, create the value and distribution chains necessary to support the network of GrowFish operators. GrowFish units are sufficiently flexible to be appropriate for rural, urban and peri-urban environments.

Alliance Partner Role

MVS will provide a GrowFish option as part of its Venture Creation program. Specific business models may very by country. However, all will be characterized by an incubation, training and mentoring program that will institutionalize the success behaviors and assure maximum benefit to both the GrowFish partner and their respective communities.

Competitive Advantage

Aquaculture is a complicated and until advances in water filtering technology often problematic. Our product is based upon over 35 years of experience in global development and scientific research. With publishing credits for literally dozens of papers on Aquaponics and integrated aquaculture, our senior technical staff are consultants to the United Nations on aquaculture and are pioneers in the technology and application of combined aquaculture, aquaponics, and agriculture methods.


It is our intention to synergistically establish food security and create a sector of profitable SMEs providing a distributive, integrated, triple-bottom line outcome. In fact in our model everyone wins. The grower, the franchisor, the NGO, MVS and most important of all, the people who are provided a total food security solution at a reasonable and affordable cost.


Project: GrowFish  

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