Sustainable Food Systems
A plant-based milk made from the Bambara Groundnut; creating opportunities for smallholder farmers, remediating degraded land, and providing affordable nutrients to malnourished populations.
With over 75 percent of Earth's land areas substantially degraded, there is an urgent need for more climate-resilient crops to build an ecologically sustainable agricultural system. The production of dairy milk emits more greenhouse gases and uses more land and water than any plant-based milk. However, many popular plant-based milks such as soy, almond, and oat milks have shortcomings: soybeans require fertile land to grow, and almond cultivation consumes a lot of water. Moreover, almond and oat milks are lower in protein content compared to dairy milk.
Bambara Milk is a nutritious and sustainable plant-based milk made from the Bambara Groundnut. The Bambara Groundnut is protein-rich, has a balanced macronutrient profile, and contains important micronutrients such as calcium, iron, and potassium. Bambara Milk has a protein content that is comparable to dairy milk and has excellent sensory properties such as taste, texture, and color.
The Bambara Groundnut is drought-tolerant and capable of growing on poor soils as a legume. It is able to fix nitrogen in the soil and is therefore ideal as a rotational crop or intercrop in regenerative agricultural systems. Bambara Milk is more sustainable to produce than soy, almond, and oat milks. Compared to dairy milk, the production of Bambara Milk emits 85 percent less greenhouse gases, uses 97 percent less land, and 98 percent less water. Bambara Milk currently sources the Bambara Groundnut from smallholder farming communities in West Africa.
Bambara Milk is on track to generate at least $100,000 of revenue directly to smallholder farming communities in its first year of pilot-scale production.
The dairy alternatives market is projected to grow from $20 billion in 2020 to around $35-40 billion in 2025. As the major vendors in this market are focusing on soy, almond, and oat milks, Bambara Milk has the advantage of being a differentiated and cost-competitive product. The Bambara Groundnut can grow on marginal land and requires little water and almost no fertilizers to grow, reducing the capital outlay required. As a short-rotation crop, it can be cultivated throughout the year across Africa, Asia, Australia, and South America. As a result, Bambara Milk can be one of the most affordable plant-milks and can be made into 100 percent natural, higher-value downstream products without the use of additives.
Winning the DBS Foundation Social Enterprise Competition
Finalist of The 2020 Liveability Challenge presented by Temasek Foundation
Bambara Milk currently seeks:
Collaborations to expand the Bambara Groundnut smallholder farmer outreach program from 400 farmers in Ghana today to 9,000 farmers across West Africa and Southeast Asia by 2026.
Technical support to further improve yields of Bambara Groundnut on degraded agricultural land under various climatic conditions.
Partnership opportunities to scale-up the production of Bambara Milk for distribution in new markets.