By Chimwemwe Mangazi:
The Nandolo Farmers Association has unveiled plans to upscale value addition for pegion peas and satisfy emerging dough markets in South Africa, Ghana and Kuwait.
This follows revelations that pigeon peas yields are expected to be slightly higher this year than last year.
Nandolo Farmers Association Chairperson, Susan Chimbayo, said the group is working through the Christian Aid-run project in procuring value adding machines valued at £500,000.
She said this when Christian Aid donated a K60 million-worth motor vehicle to the association to help it mobilise farmers under the project.
“We are thankful because Christian Aid is helping us establish new markets and value addition.Advertisement
“By March, we expect to have dough making machines in place and, this year, we are going to supply to markets that have been established in South Africa, Ghana, Sierra Leone and Kuwait,” Chimbayo said.
She said they expect production to go beyond the 300,000 metric tonnes (MT) produced last year.
Christian Aid Country Manager, Pansi Katenga, said the value addition project is target ing 6,000 members of the association.
“In 2014, we started engaging pigeon pea farmers and we were training them in good agriculture practices; in 2015, they realised that, for them to have an impact on the market, they had to be organised and that saw the birth of the association but it was all in the first phase of our project.
“The second phase is going to concentrate on markets and some of the market identification that have been identified are actually looking for processed pigeon peas so we are going to support them to procure processing equipment so that they can access the market,” Katenga said.
The government was forced to buy 23,000 MT of the crop last year after farmers were stranded following India’s ban on importation of the same.