Positive Peanut Butter
26 Aug 2009
One of the success stories from the Practical Action group helping make a real difference at a local level all over the world
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Fadzavanhu Enterprises ó Zimbabwe
Esnat Yosa, Memory Chawira, Lucy Chikoani and Roster Ziko, are members of Fadzavanhu Enterprises — a women’s co-operative group in Chitungwiza, a satellite town of the Zimbabwean capital Harare — who have been able to improve their families’ quality of living by making peanut butter.
Theirs is just one of the successful and sustainable small businesses ITDGPractical Action has helped to set up through its agroprocessing programme. This is their story.
When the closure of a local textile plant left their husbands out of work the four women needed to do something to earn money to feed their families.
Esnat, Memory, Lucy and Roster realised that the peanut butter (used as a nutritious supplement to staple foods by many people in Zimbabwe) they were buying for their families was from large scale producers and quite expensive.
They believed that if they bought peanuts from local farmers they could produce and supply the butter locally and more cheaply.
Their difficulty was that starting a small business in a developing country like Zimbabwe isn’t easy. Access to equipment, finance, training, business advice and reliable markets are difficult to come by.
Which is where ITDGPractical Action were able to help. As well as advising on food safety, especially the health risk of the carcinogenic chemical aflatoxin from peanut mould, ITDGPractical Action’s project officer Lincoln Bhila helped the women develop a business plan and secure a loan of £250 (US$403) which they later repaid from their profits.
With the loan the women were able to buy a small electric mill developed by ITDGPractical Action to crush their peanuts, instead of grinding them twice by hand between two stones in the traditional way.
Fadzavanhu Enterprises now produces peanut butter that is as good, if not better, than mainstream producers yet sells for 15% less in the local stores and two supermarkets.
The finished productAnd the result of Esnat, Memory, Lucy and Roster’s enterprise? Esnat, Memory, Lucy and Roster’s profitable enterprise has not only improved the quality of living for their families. It has also given them independence, savings and assets that now make the women credit worthy.
Which means the women can now continue the expansion of their business by buying a second mill.
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