Women’s Co-op in Zimbabwe Launches Chaya Kickstarter Campaign with MATTER to Produce Plant Protein Products

MINNEAPOLIS, June 4, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Minnesota-based global NGO MATTER today announced the launch of the Chaya Kickstarter Campaign, aiming to raise $50,000 to fund the first line of marketable Chaya products. This initiative will enable women in thriving Chaya farming cooperatives in Zimbabwe to turn surplus harvests into sustainable income. 

Chaya, a nutrient-dense vegetable, already improving the nutrition and health of communities in Zimbabwe, is now poised to improve the economic health of countless families across the country. Through the newly opened Chidobe Chaya Processing Center in Victoria Falls, women in the farming co-ops will be able to sell their Chaya to be dried and processed into marketable products within Zimbabwe and beyond. Initial product development will include freeze-dried Chaya leaves for use with meals, as well Chaya protein powder for use in the supplement and plant protein markets. These products align with the expected growth of the plant protein market, projected globally to reach USD $23 billion by 2033, according to research by Custom Market Insights. 

Chris Newhouse, Executive Director of Sustainability at MATTER, highlighted the dual benefits of this initiative, “By selling their Chaya, the women in the co-ops will receive an immediate economic benefit. Additionally, we are empowering the women working in the Chidobe co-op with the skills needed to manufacture value-added products at the processing center, providing them with additional income.” 

Chaya’s importance is underscored by Zimbabwe’s recent declaration of a national disaster on April 3, 2024, given drought conditions and the resulting food crisis. According to the World Food Program, 13.6 million people are food insecure at the crisis level in Southern Africa. UNICEF reports that nearly a quarter of children under five in Zimbabwe are affected by stunting, impacting their physical growth, cognitive development, and school performance, leading to lifelong consequences. Chaya, not only drought resistant but also highly nutritious, fights malnutrition and stunting, offering protein, calcium, iron, and Vitamins A and C.

Learn more or contribute to this impactful Chaya Kickstarter Campaign!

MATTER, a Minnesota-based global NGO, brings together the best companies, experts, problem solvers and above all, doers, to launch projects that improve communities. This collaborative movement has inspired solutions in health access, providing beneficial meals for children and families, regenerative agriculture, and student-centered education, collectively impacting more than 51 million lives. MATTER’s guiding belief is encapsulated in the simple yet powerful expression, YOU MATTER. Learn more at www.matter.ngo.

CONTACT: Brian Numainville