Pathways Malawi is working in four Traditional Authorities in the Central region of Malawi covering the districts of Kasungu and Dowa. Pathways is working with 683 village savings and loan groups and 221 producer groups who grow soya and groundnuts. A total of 4,400 producer farmers are following agronomic practices for soya and groundnuts production.
Pathways intensified capacity building of producer farmers with a focus on production; and forming linkages with input supplies, buyers, and markets. Producers were trained on post harvest management for soya and groundnuts.
Groundnuts Mandera drying method
29 Producer marketing groups (PMG) were formed and their roles and responsibilities of these groups were:
- Mobilize group bulking and quality management to meet required market standards;
- Advise groups on market conditions, quality requirements, prices, and other standards;
- Open up new market linkages, negotiate payment conditions and terms;
- Witness sales on behalf of the group alongside group leaders
Pathways facilitated the identification of buyers for soya in a participatory manner. For proper engagement with the market, the project team set up a smaller team of people from 29 PMGs to interact with buyers and negotiate the price. 14 people were selected by PMGs and trained on how to do a market survey. This team also listed all the potential buyers within Lilongwe, Dowa, and Kasungu and then developed a questionnaire to use while interacting with buyers. 4 companies were finally shortlisted as potential buyers of soya.
The buyer identification process was as follows:
Presently, Pathways has facilitated the sale of soya to reputable buyers, and farmers are happy that their soya is being bought. The prices were good soon after harvest and started dropping; currently soya is being bought at K140.
Pathways Malawi participated in the Action Limited Commodity Exchange Holdings launch in July 2013 where a producer group farmer was invited together with the Pathways field officer (Mr. Richard Soko and Dan Soka, respectively). Mr Soko, who is a member of the mduka producer group, had an opportunity to share what farmers were doing to produce soya that was sold through the Exchange. The launch attracted delegates from other countries such as Ethiopia, Nepal, and South Africa. It was indeed an opportunity for the producers to share what Pathways was doing. Pathways Malawi is happy to see that farmers’ capacity has been built, farmers are able to produce soya and groundnuts, and above all are able to sell their commodity and form linkages with buyers.
Mr. Richard Soko and Dan Soka during the Launch
Salome Mhango – Pathways Malawi Project Managera
Mark Kumbukani Black – M&E Coordinator
Ackim Nyambi – Agri-Business & Marketing Coordinator
Dan Soka – Field Advisor