Groundnuts have been identified as a key diversification cash crop for smallholder farmers in Malawi, but farmers have trouble increasing production due to limited access to quality seed, as well as poor growing and post-harvest practices that damage crop quality and in turn limit access to markets.
The Strategic Partnership Grant from USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub was awarded to MH Boerdery Konsultante in partnership with NASFAM, a farmer-directed business system representing over 100,000 Malawian smallholders. The grant supports NASFAM to upgrade their central groundnut processing plant and animal feed processing plant, as well as enhance farmers’ access to technology and storage facilities in Lilongwe South. The upgrades will enable the groundnut processing plant to more than double its production capacity.
- To increase marketed volumes of groundnuts, increasing farmer earnings through the establishment of aggregation centers closer to the farmer.
- To increase the capacity of smallholders to manage aflatoxin both on and off farm through training and dissemination of information on groundnut production and marketing.
- Thousands of smallholder groundnut producers in Lilongwe South, with a target of 60% women farmers.
Results and Outcomes
- Equipment has arrived for NASFAM’s groundnut sorting and grading facilities and will be installed to upgrade the existing facility, with commissioning is scheduled for late 2015. Poor quality groundnuts will not enter the human food chain but will be used within the feed mill industry.
It is aniticipated that small-scale groundnut farmers will be able to obtain significantly improved prices for their groundnuts in the next harvest season, making this crop an attractive alternative to the environmentally destructive cash crop of tobacco.
Photo: Workers at the NASFAM facility in Lilongwe South, Malawi