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Comsip promises to buy 300 tonnes of farm produce

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Community Savings and Investment Promotion (Comsip) Union has said it expects to buy about 310 tonnes of beans and soybean from 76 cooperatives under Legumes Enterprise Structured Production (Lesp) initiative this year.

Lesp is a legumes production and market structure programme in which Comsip is supporting cooperative members in nine districts in the production and marketing of beans, soybean and pigeon peas.

Speaking after touring legumes market sites in Kasungu and Mzimba districts, Comsip Union Information, Education and Communication Officer, Emmanuel Muwamba, said the union has started buying 200 tonnes of soybean and 110 tonnes of beans from cooperatives.

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“There are so many benefits associated with the production of legumes. It is an income generating activity for the members of participating cooperatives. At the same time, on nutritional benefits, Comsip considers legumes to be of high value, in terms of nutrition. The soybean and sugar beans are highly nutritious. So, we are telling the members that, apart from selling legumes to the union, they should also take part in consumption for the health of their own families,” Muwamba said.

Through what is called matching grant principle, Comsip contributes 70 percent of inputs to the production of earmarked crops while cooperatives contribute 30 percent in the first year of production.

The contribution percentage for production, however, changes in subsequent years as Comsip promotes self-reliance.

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One of the beneficiaries, Chairperson of Mtendere Cooperative in Mzimba Hora, Jiffex Tembo, said the programme has created opportunities for legume farmers.

“Others were skeptical and thought it would be the same story of vendors coming to buy at very low prices but we have seen that Comsip is here to support our livelihoods. The transport cost has been eliminated,” Tembo said.

Simeon Bondera Nyirenda and Stiyaner Mwaphoka, Community Development assistants in Kasungu North and Bulala Community, respectively, said Lesp has offered farmers a new lease of life

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