Value addition and food processing changes Matobo farmers’ lives    

27 Jul, 2022 - 12:07 0 Views
Value addition and food processing changes Matobo farmers’ lives    

The Sunday News

Judith Phiri, Business Reporter    

MATOBO District farmers have said value addition and food processing of their produce has allowed them to address food challenges in the drought-prone area by processing crops in order to provide constant supply of produce all year round.

Apart from the constant supply of produce all year round, these farmers have also managed to secure good markets and good returns for their value-added produce.

Recently exhibiting at the Matobo District agricultural show, Ms Sibusisiwe Ncube from Dabane Trust who works with farmers in area said value addition and food processing has changed the lives of farmers.

“Farmers in the area have utilised the Matobo processing and value addition centre, a move that is increasing food security and resilience to climate shocks in Matobo District.

“The centre allows the farmers to not throw aways anything they would have grown and they do not have to worry about their produce going bad. The overall potential of agro processing and value addition is huge has it reduces not only wastage but also enhance food security and improve livelihoods for the farmers through income generation,” said Ms Ncube.

She said as Dabane Trust they have worked with farmers in different places that include Wards 2, 5, 6,7, 8, 9, 10 and 11 and through Dabane water workshops they were dedicated to establishing water and food secure communities.

Ms Ncube said first objective was to provide water to the farmers for that they can then grow their crops and be able to feed their families.

Matobo farmer, Mr Standich Moyo from Lushumbe village said as Nhali Honey Products they had various value-added products they were getting from honey such as pollen, beeswax and syrup among others.

“As a farmer I also ventured into bee keeping to generate extra income. Beehives can be a source of not only honey but also beeswax, propolis and pollen.

“I make sure that l do not discard any of these valuable secondary beekeeping materials so that l can transform them into a wide variety of value-added products including candles, soap and body cream,” said Mr Moyo.

Apart from beekeeping, he said he was into horticulture, piggery, poultry which has assisted him and other farmers he works together with sustain their families.

Students from Minda High School who showcased confectioneries made from traditional grains said their products provided a safe nutritious diet in order to maintain health.

An Upper 6 student, Miss Nomthandazo Moyo said: “As school children we also have talents which we showcase at the show. We used indigenous resources and they are healthy because they are not modified. Our baked products such as cakes we use potato flour which does not contain gluten and flavouring is done using natural resources such as wild fruits.”

In an interview, the chief director responsible for Agriculture Advisory Services in the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development Professor Obert Jiri said value addition was important for farmers to get the potential and fullest value of their produce.

“It is obvious that primary produce fetches less than processed products, at any stage. The greatest value is at the retail end, which requires meticulous planning and market,” said Prof Jiri.

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