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MASSACHUSETTS INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY Legatum Center for Development & Entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurs

The Legatum Center supports entrepreneurs all around the world through the Fellowships and Grants

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Sylvia Banda

Mastercard Foundation 2021 - 2022
Foundry Fellow
From:
Zambia
Sector:
Manufacturing
Location:
Zambia

Sylvia Banda founded Sylva Food Solutions (SFS) with a goal to improve local farmers’ incomes from produce. SFS provides a ready market for smallholder farmers by connecting them with businesses that need their produce such as restaurants, catering services, hotels, food packagers, and processors. Through SFS, Sylvia has boosted the demand for farmers’ products through mass promotion of local, healthy indigenous foods. Sylvia has trained over 25,000 smallholder farmers to solar dry local vegetables and fruits from Zambia, Mozambique, and Tanzania. She constructed a prototype solar dryer using food-grade material which has been commercialized and sold to NGOs and supplied to smallholder farmers.

Sylvia’s vision for Sylva Food Solutions (SFS) is to be the leading supplier of processed indigenous, neglected and underutilized crop and forest foods across the Southern African region. She is building SFS to be a center of excellence for smallholder farmer development and would like to see their practices and approach replicated in other regions of the world. Sylvia has received numerous awards and accolades for her contribution to the Zambian agriculture and small business sectors including the 2020 Presidential Insignia of Honour by the Republican President of Zambia.

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