Farmers in Neno scale up livelihoods and income generating activities through Sustainable Land Management

Bizret packaging potato crisps ready for the market

Potato growing farmers have created their own market in Chandamale village in Neno district. The farmers belong to the first and only cooperative in the area.

Highlights

  • Chandamale Cooperative got a loan of MK4, 000.00 ($2,750) through OVOP and constructed a “factory” from where they are manufacturing crisps.
  • The SLM project has partnered with One Village One Product (OVOP) initiative to assist in up-scaling the already existing livelihood initiatives as well as new ones that are being implemented within the project.
  • Their production capacity is 100 packets per week and they selling price is MK100.00 ($0.22) a packet

Neno is a district in Malawi that produces large quantities of potatoes. However, farmers from the district were not making enough money through potato farming as there was no market available to sell crops.

“We are all farmers in the group but we were not making enough profit selling our potatoes to local vendors who were coming and buying from us, mainly because there was no value added to our product” explained Bizret Chimkwita who is the secretary of cooperative.

The UNDP funded project has partnered with One Village One Product (OVOP) initiative to assist in up-scaling the already existing livelihood initiatives as well as new ones that are being implemented within the project.

Members of Chandamale Cooperative got a loan of MK4, 000,000 ($2,750) through OVOP and constructed a “factory” from where they are manufacturing crisps. After the factory was constructed, they received equipment and were trained on how to produce crisps.

“We received trainings on the production of crisps, how to run a cooperative, hygiene and packaging our products” added Percival Kadumbi who is one of the members of the group.

OVOP brings into focus vast experience in community-centered and demand driven economic development opportunities for communities. OVOP is a program located within the Ministry of Industry and Trade and is involved in a number of activities such as ground nut oil extraction, potato chips making, juice making, cotton oil refinery and sugarcane juice processing. Currently OVOP is working with existing groups/cooperatives in building their capacity in business management, installation of machinery, production capacity, and quality and standards.

Stony Kachigamba, 65, married and living with three grandchildren, joined the initiative so that he could increase his income. “I stay with my grandchildren and I know once we share the profits, I will be able to support them as well as pay for my son whom I have sent back to school,” he explained.

The group started producing crisps which they sell in their area for MK100 ($0.22). Their production capacity is 100 packets per week. With the modern packaging, they anticipate they can reach markets outside their district. “The packaging itself is of high standard and we hope to sell it to big supermarkets in the country and beyond” added Stony.

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