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Talandila and Umodzi Clubs Trained in Bakery Business and Soya Meat Production

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30 farmers together with their lead farmer belonging to Talandila and Umodzi Clubs whose members come from Mpingu and Ngwangwa Extension Planning Area in Lilongwe were this week trained in bakery business and Soya Meat Production. The training was organised by the African Institute of Corporate Citizenship (AICC) through its Sustainable Lead Farmer Programme (SALFP) in partnership with Network for Youth Development (NFYD), Pfeiffer, Malawi Union of Savings and Credit Cooperatives (MUSCCO), and Lilongwe District Agriculture Development Office (DADO). The training aimed at instilling knowledge of bakery and soya meat production as one way of helping the two clubs to add value to their produce and also diversify their businesses.

Bakery Training in progress
Bakery Training in progress

Farmers under SALFP Program Smile amidst Market Failure

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Some farmers from Mwamulo Famers Club, one of the many clubs that AICC has mobilized in Kanjiwa EPA, Ntchisi District
Some farmers from Mwamulo Farmers' Club, one of the many clubs that AICC has mobilized in Kanjiwa EPA, Ntchisi District

In this 2016/2017 season, farmers have faced a number of challenges in respect to fluctuation of their prices. Attracted by better prices which they received the previous year, farmers dedicated themselves this year which has generally turned to be one of the best years with above normal rainfall. However the challenge has been prices which on average, turned out to be half of what farmers sold their produce last year. Buyers that entered into contract farming followed market prices as stipulated in their contracts. Some buyers came out of the signed contracts because they were not binding. Some high value markets resorted to using small traders to aggregate commodities at the same low market prices just to take advantage of farmers. This meant huge losses for farmers and a great reduction on their disposable incomes and inability to provide for their families.

Amidst this market failure, some farmers under the Sustainable Agriculture Lead Farmer (SALFP) Program which is being implemented by, the African Institute of Corporate Citizenship (AICC) with support from the Development Fund of Norway have a different story to tell. Under the project, AICC mobilizes farmers to be in groups where they aggregate commodities for them to sell collectively.

These farmers were able to aggregate their commodities, store it and wait for prices to pick up. While most farmers sold their Soya Beans at average prices of MK100 per Kg, now these farmers are selling at average prices of MK200 per Kg. Such clubs include Mwamulo Farmers Club in Ntchisi District, three Cooperatives in Mzimba and One Cooperative in Lilongwe rural district whose stories appear below.

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Collective storage and Marketing of Rice: A case of Domasi Rice Association, Machinga

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Paddy ready to be processed at Domasi Association Super Rice Mill

The case of Domasi Irrigation Rice Association has in-depth intensification of imperativeness of collective marketing. At first, rice farmers used to sell rice individually which led to minimization of returns as there was no bargaining and negotiation skills. In 2016/2017 growing season, the Rice Platform under AICC, strengthened the association with marketing skills which were biased towards selling collectively. The collective marketing concept was embedded in the constitution so that all members comply accordingly. The marketing committee and the whole association were trained in producer groups and other actors in value-chain and business development practices, group dynamics, financial management, conflict management and approaches in group marketing.

To its credit, Domasi Rice Association has 155 tons of rice stored in the warehouse ready for potential markets and milling plant for processing paddy. About 24 metric tons has been polished and sold collectively to potential buyers at K400 per Kg. The association made about K22 million from the sell. This has been shared amongst the members for various households needs and buying of shares in the Village Savings and Loans groups which also introduced by AICC  as one innovation within the Malawi Agriculture Partnership-Phase 2 program.

At first, fellow farmers didn’t see the goodness of collective marketing with a business eye. They thought it was about wasting time, hence in some cases; buyers would come to buy from us some months after harvesting. Through negotiation meetings and transparency in bargaining for prices with buyers, members are able to sell at a good price and their life needs are being met,” said Anderson Chapita, Chairperson, Domasi Rice Association, Machinga.

Domasi Irrigation Rice Scheme lies along the Domasi River in Machinga. In total, there are 2057 farmers (957 females and 1100 males) and a total cultivated land of 462 Hectares. Apart from Kilombero and Supa Faya type of rice, Domasi also produce Kayanjamalo, TCG 10, Pusa and Mtupatupa.

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Contact

African Institute of Corporate Citizenship,
Area 47/5/394
Off Bwanje Road,
Private Bag 382,
Lilongwe 3,
Malawi

Phone: +265 310 001 396 (Administration)

+265 310 001 394/395 (Technical Staff)

Email: aicc@aiccafrica.org, communications@aiccafrica.org

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