Newly established agriculture production firm, Pyxus Agriculture Limited, is advocating scaling up of value addition in local agricultural products.
The sister company of tobacco buying and processing firm, Alliance One, is working with about 10,000 smallholder farmers across the country to produce high value legumes for the export market.
Pyxus Agriculture Managing Director, Ron Ngwira, said the firm is implementing various value addition mechanisms.
Ngwira said the value addition drive would help improving the country’s export base.
“We are aiming at empowering local smallholder farmers by supporting them to grow various improved varieties of legumes such as groundnuts, soya beans, pigeon peas and sugar beans, among other crops,” he said.
Ngwira said most legume crops fail to attract international markets because farmers do not add value.
One of the contracted farmers, Lameck Amoni, commended Pyxus for the initiative.
“The initiative is enabling us grow high-yielding and profitable crops,” Amoni said.
Apart from the legumes production programme, the company has also embarked on a reforestation drive.
Through the initiative, the firm has facilitated planting of different species of trees covering over 6,000 hectares of land on its leased farms in Mchinji, Kasungu and Dowa districts.