Organization name ELAGA
Organization type
Date of incorporation 2012
Country of operation Burundi
Link to Netherlands Project of RvO & collaboration with Wageningen University
Size Medium
Industry Agriculture
Sustainability type Social, environmental
Profit orientation No
BoP involved as … Producers
ELAGA, an anonymous company, was established in 2012 to contribute to sustainable development of the agro-industrial sector in rural Burundi, by implementing economic activities that mainly focus on agriculture, livestock, and aquaculture. More specifically, the areas of intervention comprise: environment, irrigation, agro-business, project assessment, rehabilitation, water supply and sanitation, hydro-agricultural projects, and land development and training. ELAGA’s main projects are patchouli production and fish farming, in which they involve the Burundian population to stimulate entrepreneurship and, in turn, reduce poverty. Patchouli is a cash crops, meaning that Burundian farmers will not consume it themselves, but they will sell it to cooperatives to earn money. In turn, these cooperatives sell the leaves to ELAGA, who transforms the patchouli leaves into essential oils for the purpose of export. By selling the leaves, farmers gain income that can be spend on other products, improving the economic situation in the area directly. On the contrary, the development of fish farming is for the benefit of farmers’ own consumption, but also for commercial activities.

Important partners are considered to be local cooperatives that provide farmers with all kinds of (financial) support and training; local NGO AGAPE who is closely managing the community;  research institutions  ISABU and Wageningen University to gain knowledge that can be transmitted to the community; and the government of Burundi as well as Province de Makamba. For the fish farm project ELAGA also works with Pisciculture France Afrique (PFA), a France organization aiming to increase the fish farming in Africa, who aids technical assistance in terms of machines and techniques.

In sum, ELAGA is supporting farmers with the growing, processing, marketing and sales of patchouli and fish, by developing a sustainable value chain of collaborators, customers, partners and the local community. In doing so, ELAGA commits to a strong CSR policy to create maximum social impact for the Burundian population. This means that ELAGA is closely observing preservation of the environment, developing social relationships between all stakeholders, and making sure that added value is sustainable. Currently, ELAGA operates in four provinces of Burundi but aims to expand to other provinces, in order to become a national reference for the development of the rural world. However, it is challenging to find the capacity in terms of farmers, but also in terms of support for the farmers. Therefore, ELAGA will need assistance of the government and other actors in order to make extensions of the project feasible.

More information about ELAGA can be found here.


5-Step-to-scale approach

In order to effectively scale Elaga collaboratively, we organized a workshop using 5-step-to-scale framework with the participation of Elaga and their partners. The outcome of the workshop is presented as below.

Step 1: Ambition

In this step, Elaga and their partners answered the following seven simple questions to demarcate what value they and their partners seek to create for the BoP. First, they answered the questions individually. Then they discussed each other’s answers to reach a single, shared scaling ambition. Finally, Elaga defined the following scaling impact ambition with their partners.

Step 2: Discovery

Understand the actors, resources, activities: In this step, Elaga and their partners visualized the collaborators in the ecosystem (commonly called actors), their interactions and relationships with other collaborators, and the value created, delivered and captured through the collaboration for the BoP. The ecosystem for Elaga can be visualized as below.

Understand the actors’ capabilities: Elaga and their partners listed out the business’s opportunities, and threat.

Step 3: Strategy

In this step, Elaga and their partners discovered potential scaling tactics by brainstorming ideas for each category. This results in about three most interesting ideas for each category.

Step 4: Adaptation

In this step, Elaga and their partners identified and visualized the actors, resources and activities as well as the relationships between them that are necessary to realize the most interesting scaling tactics from Step 3.

Step 5: Evaluation

In this step, Elaga and their partners used a simple attractiveness feasibility matrix to evaluate the scaling tactics. They scored each of the most interesting scaling tactics from step 3 based on their attractiveness and feasibly on a scale from high to low.

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