Project Launch: 2-28-19
This project will work with women farmers and families to organize a sweet potato cooperative and train the farmers to produce a variety of goods by processing their sweet potatoes into different forms - including powdered porridge, potato crisps, potato bread, biscuits, pasta, and other foods. This will strengthen the economic security of the participants and provide more nutrition to their families and community.
Project Update: 9-5-19
The first phase of the Kapiri Sweet Foods project has led to the establishment of a group of 50 participants who have been growing Orange Fleshed Sweet Potato (OFSP) for 2-3 years prior to the project. The participants have been trained in group dynamics and leadership which will enhance group cohesion and ownership of the project. Kapiri Community Development Organization (KACODO) has involved research and processing personnel from Chitedze Research Station and International Potato Cooperation who will assist the participants in operating the machinery and processing of the sweet potatoes into final products. The government, through its agribusiness experts have trained the farmers in business management and planning which will help them in establishing a cooperative and sharing the proceeds from the project. The project has procured machinery such as a potato washer and cutter and vacuum sealers which will be used in the second phase of the project in which participants will be trained in processing and packaging of the sweet potatoes into OFSP flour. One of the participants, Lodah Phiri said,”We have been producing the tubers before the project but the tubers could easily go bad in the storage and we were forced to either sell at a low price or consume the tubers at household level, thereby increasing losses. We are assured that the project will also create a market for the produce and help us to invest and process the tubers into various products from which we may have a profit after wards.”