Farmer’s cooperatives encouraged to provide additional value to their products

Lilongwe, Legumes Development Trust (LDT) has urged farmers’ cooperatives in the country to strive into making additional value to their products.

LDT Board Chair, Dr Geoffrey Kananji said this Thursday in Lilongwe at Crossroads Hotel during a meeting on prospects for micro processing in Malawi.

He noted that most cooperatives were not making profits to their products due to lack of added value to their produce, saying time has come for them to strive into working on it.

Smallholder framers have gained little from what they produce but middlemen have capitalized on their produce to add value to the produce and they make a lot of profits out of it, Kananji explained.

The Board Chair said the new National Agriculture policy has a clause where additional value to produce is being encouraged to smallholder farmers in the country.

He pointed out that no country could only export its produce and expect to prosper without thinking of adding value to its produce.

Kananji observed that African Institute of Corporate Citizenship (AICC) conducted a research in some districts of the country to see how legumes like groundnuts and soya are being used on the issue of added value.

It has been discovered that the two crops stand to benefit the local farmers once they are encouraged to attach the issue of value adding to their produce and find competitive markets for their various products, he added.

The Chair said LDT was established in 2013 with an aim to encourage legume growers to work together in cooperatives and promote value adding to their products in the country.

Kananji thanked AICC for organizing the meeting saying the gathering would help farmers’ cooperatives to share experiences and best practices in their endeavours.

Chair of Technical Working Group for LDT, Vincent Mpaluko said legume growing farmers need to strive in making their value added products attractive to the local and international markets.

He said once they achieve that, issues of profitability of their products would have meaning to their livelihoods which could translate into the growth of the country’s economy.

The meeting attracted various stakeholders and farmers’ cooperative groups from Blantyre, Dowa, Ntchisi, Mchinji, Kasungu Mzimba, Zomba, Rumphi and Ntcheu.

Source: Malawi News Agency MANA