Moringa oil, pressed from Moringa seeds, is used in the personal care and specialty oil industries around the world. In the early 2000s, well-meaning organizations convinced a large number of Rwandan farmers to plant Moringa trees in place of typical subsistence crops. When the trees produced their first crop, farmers were distressed to find that there was no one to buy. Many of these farmers lost faith in the Moringa tree, as well as in the well-meaning organizations, as valuable land that could have produced food for their families and communities was wasted on worthless Moringa seeds.
Karisimbi Partners’ ongoing search for high-impact ventures led it to this gap in the value chain. This historical problem, coupled with the growing international market for Moringa oil led Karisimbi Partners to approach investors about establishing a social-impact business. After extensive feasibility analysis – assessing existing Moringa trees, evaluating the best equipment and methods to convert seeds to oil, and establishing relationships with various international customers for Moringa, Karisimbi Partners created Asili Natural Oils. Working closely with investors, Karisimbi Partners re-built the supply chain in Rwanda and surrounding countries, developed long-term customer relationships, purchased and commissioned best-in-class processing equipment, and successfully delivered the first export sale of Rwandan Moringa oil.
Since that first sale, Asili Natural Oils has continued to grow and now connects hundreds of small-holder farmers to high-value international markets. The company is overseen on a day to day basis by Karisimbi Partners, augmenting an experienced Rwandan management team and a staff of more than twenty. Asili is committed to serving customers with professionalism and integrity, thereby ensuring benefits for farmers, customers, and employees.
Asili has come a long way since initiating operations in 2012. It has recently diversified into new and exciting products, including Passion Fruit Seed oil, and indigenous products that have never before been marketed, like Wild African Calabash oil. In just a short time, Asili has established itself in the global market as a leading supplier of specialty oils, and it has done so in a way that benefits hundreds of Rwandan smallholder farming families – a true social impact business.
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