We love this idea and are supporting it aggressively. Factories that make RUTF currently exist in several African countries. One hurdle that still exists is the supply chain. Locally grown peanuts often do not meet the stringent specifications that aflatoxin levels demand for a product being fed to compromised infants.
Milk power is sourced from New Zealand, Lithuania or the U.S.; drying facilities are not available in Africa nor is a sufficient fresh milk supply in most countries. Vitamins are sourced in Europe and packaging generally in China. This means that at best we can “assemble” the product in an African country, but even that requires shipping of each ingredient separately. Finally job gains are minimal--a very large facility might employ a few dozen people.
We are quick to say that these deterrents are only hurdles, not barriers. We are determined to over come them and eventually make and source our products in Africa. At present, production costs in Africa are high, but as they come down we will invest more and more of our limited dollars where they can have the most impact on lives saved.