Business

‘Women reaping from cooperatives’

By Watipaso Mzungu:

Kawiru Women Farmers Group of Group Village Head (GVH) Mphungo in Traditional Authority (T/A) Lukwa in Kasungu District has made K1.8 million from 80 bags of soybean at a staggering price of K450 per kilogramme (kg).

Kawiru is one of the groups undertaking collective farming and marketing in the district.

The group, which has 32 members, is expected to gain an extra K630, 000 when their 18 bags of soybean seed selling at K700 per kg are bought anytime.

Such earnings have been made possible due to a Greater Women and Youth in Economic Empowerment Project, which Oxfam Malawi in Partnership with Circle for Integrated Community Development (CICOD) are implementing with funds from Oxfam Ireland with support from the Irish Aid.

According to chairperson of the group, Rosalia Kaundama, the project encourages collective growing and selling of legume crops as a group so that the crops can fetch higher prices on the market.

“Each member was asked to bring at least two bags of their soybean so that together we could identify a buyer and bargain for a better price for our produce with the capacity we have gained through the project,” Kaundama said.

In GVH Kabela, Kabela Women Group and Kunga Youth Club engage in horticultural production.

They, too, are diversifying to other crops and have also established a village loan savings fund and are singing the same song as their colleagues in Mphungo.

To date, the project has targeted 912 women and youth from Kasungu to engage them in agribusiness as a way of becoming economically empowered.

Oxfam, in partnership with CICOD, has been building the capacity of these smallholder women and youth farmers in Kasungu to enable them to have access to profitable markets by increasing their crop aggregate through collective marketing and farming.

CICOD Executive Director, Amos Tizora, said the groups were registering progress

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