Kia Motors Europe recent project to sponsor farmers in the planting of jatropha plants in Malawi who excited HTD Limited, dealers of Kia vehicles in Malawi, who wants the project to be extended to the country.
Kia Motors Europe is implementing a project, called 'Kia – Planting for a Better Life' in the west Africa country to planting of up to six million jatropha shrubs over the next three years, helping to secure a brighter future for communities in the area by boosting agricultural output and generating income for farmers and their families.
The project will see Kia making a donation equivalent to six jatropha seedlings for each vehicle sold in the participating countries, up to a maximum value of K1.1 billion (Euros 500,000) each year.
HTD Limited Marketing and Operations Manager Nadia Chikwana said on Wednesday her company would take up the matter with Kia Motors for possible implementation of a similar project into Malawi.
"We will discuss with Kia Motors," said Chikwana, whose company is the sole dealer of Kia vehicles in Malawi.
The Mali project, which is an integral part of Kia's corporate social responsibility activity, will be implemented for Kia by the Netherlands-based 'Trees for All' organisation.
The foundation has broad experience of jatropha planting programmes and has worked with Kia Netherlands and Kia Sweden on projects in Mali since 2007.
Earlier initiatives have already been responsible for establishing 2.3 million trees, and have set up 51 Jatropha Field Schools – teaching more than 5,000 local farmers to-date on how best to use the shrubs and how to achieve better yields of key crops, such as maize, sorgho and peanuts, says the company in a statement.
"This important project will deliver rapid, genuine and long-term benefits to Malian farmers, their families and their communities, in a variety of ways, for many years to come," comments Paul Philpott, COO Kia Motors Europe.
The jatropha shrub is a hardy, drought- and pest-resilient evergreen perennial which has numerous benefits. It is toxic to wild animals, which makes an ideal hedge plant or 'living fence' with which farmers can ring other crops. It also helps prevent soil erosion and, from year five onwards, produces an average yield of 3.5 kg of 'climate nuts' sufficient to create 0.5 litres of bio-diesel fuel, boosting the farmer's income.