The KAITE Initiative was founded to realise the vision of sustainable human development. KAITE aims to contribute to the comprehensive development of the individual, society and environment. A holistic concept encompassing integrated economic, social and cultural development forms the key KAITE vision.
KAITE contributes to the increased prosperity of Zimbabwe and its people through innovative organic farming and sustainable entrepreneurship with small-scale producers, particularly women. Agricultural production has virtually collapsed in Zimbabwe. Yet, thanks to KAITE, there are now 500 small-scale farmers in the subsistence rural areas harvesting a variety of indigenous plants to produce organic essential oils, herbs and spices. These include wild khaki weed, often considered valueless, but in fact used in the manufacture of many different products, including cosmetics and natural pesticides.
KAITE trains and certifies its partner farmers to cultivate and process organic essential oil crops as well as herbs and spices, using mobile stills and solar dryers especially engineered locally. KAITE also links its partner farmers to international fair trade markets, so that they can benefit directly from the sale of their produce at favourable world prices.
KAITE’s model of work is socially responsible entrepreneurship. In the Shona language of Zimbabwe, KAITE means ‘a task to be conscientiously fulfilled’. Hence, KAITE’s core social investment in primary health care, HIV and AIDS prevention and care, schooling and orphan care for the farming communities it works with.
Most small-scale producers in Zimbabwe are currently trapped in a vicious cycle of extreme poverty, with heavy reliance on unaffordable or unavailable inputs, unsustainable hikes in transportation costs, and volatile market prices. KAITE looks forward to being a part of the solution to these problems, by drawing together the resources, skills, and specialisation that all its partners have to offer.
KAITE won the Grand Prize for the Global Social Entrepreneurship Competition in 2008
KAITE won the SEED Gold Award of the UN Commission on Sustainable Development in 2009