Adding value to smallholder farming in Malawi
Smallholder farmers in Malawi, with support from a seed development project and government initiatives, have successfully set up a groundnut oil producing enterprise, thereby boosting incomes and opening up market opportunities. They formed a cooperative of 118 members and are producing, on average, 6,000 liters of cooking oil, translating to MK 7,200,000 (US$ 9,600) in sales per month. Almost 2,000 farmers have been linked to markets so far via this project.
Factors such as lack of access to structured markets have historically locked out smallholder farmers in Malawi from participating in its rewarding market economy. However, the enterprising members of Mthiransembe Oil-producing Cooperative in Mchinji district, Central Malawi, have proven that smallholder farmers are quite capable of finding solutions to their development challenges.