The Mitsui & Co. Environment Fund

Introduction to Grant Projects

Nippon International Cooperation for Community Development (NICCO)

Supporting top soil fertilization and tree planting in Malawi, southern Africa

Activity grant

Project Description

Malawi, located in southern Africa, is facing a grave situation due to decreasing harvests caused by abnormal weather, and the erosion and deterioration of soil due to deforestation. This project aims to help impoverished farmers in the country's central region regenerate top soil and establish systems to help them become self-sufficient. Specifically, this will involve distributing seeds and seedlings for planting fruit and native tree species, and encouraging a shift to organic farming methods that will improve top soil and water usage in accordance with local conditions. It will also introduce composting-style ecosan toilets to improve sanitation and enable the use of excreta as a soil conditioner, reducing outlay on fertilizer. Lectures and practical training in these initatives for local farmers will help cultivate leaders and create people-driven models rooted in the region.

Preservation of surface soil and forestsEnergy problem
Grant year
FY2007 Activity Grants
Grant term
3 years
July 2007 - June 2010
Grant amount
8,100,000 yen
Activity region
Mwazama region, Nkhotakota District, Malawi
A workshop for locals in Malawi

Overview of the Organization

Satoyo Ono, President
Establishment purpose
NICCO was established in 1979 as the Kampuchean Refugee Relief Program in order to provide support for refugees of the Cambodian Civil War who had fled into Thailand. In 1993 it became incorporated and changed its name to the current Nippon International Cooperation for Community Development (NICCO). Since its establishment it has strived to take a global perspective and live and work together with people in developing countries to help them become financially and emotionally independent, while also working for the financial independence of the most impoverished, conserving the environment, and cultivating human resources.
Main areas of activity
Malawi, Palestine, Jordan, Iran, Afghanistan, Myanmar, China (Sichuan), and Japan
21 full-time staff members, 1 part-time staff member, 153 full members
Annual operating budget
258.64 million yen in 2005, 267.13 million yen in 2006, 226.83 million yen in 2007
WEB site
Recent activities
Established and developed in Kyoto, NICCO is one of the oldest and most active NGOs in Japan. In its 28-year history, it has aimed to help people in developed countries live independently and has lived and worked alongside these people while providing projects that support self-sufficiency involving education, practical training, environmental conservation, organic farming, and refugee aid. Recently it has been implementing support initiatives aimed at creating financial independence and conserving the environment worldwide, particularly in the war-torn Middle East, as well as Africa and Asia. In Japan it is carrying out a model farm initiative, including an organic farm in Ryuo, Shiga Prefecture, that aims to conserve the environment, and a non-tilling cultivation winter irrigation project. NICCO also supports a lot of interns and volunteers in joining these activities to cultivate individuals who can contribute to international cooperative efforts.