Mrs Mwale’s story
Mrs Mbewe Aliness Mwale is a seed grower and a lead farmer of the Katope Cooperative Society.
In the 2007 season, Mrs Mwale planted 20 kg of MGV 4 variety of Groundnuts and harvested 750kg shelled groundnuts. She kept 120 kg of seed which she planted and gave out to farmers on out-grower basis in the following season. She sold the balance of 630 kg and realised $400.
From this extra income, she purchased iron roofing sheets, a goat, household food and fertilizer.
In 2008 Mrs Mwale again planted 20kg MGV 4 variety of groundnuts from what she had reserved from the previous season and sub-contracted 10 farmers to whom she gave 10kg of MGV 4 groundnut seed, each on out-grower basis. This year she made an extra $900.
From the realised income, she purchased building materials and built a house which was roofed with iron sheets purchased from the previous season, and later an oil expeller in July 2008 for extracting cooking oil for sale and home consumption. She paid for her children’s education and also purchased a satellite dish and a car battery for powering a television.
From the oil expeller, she also has been making and selling sunflower cake. Being the only one in the area that had an oil expeller at that time, she raised enough money that together with money from her husband they bought a maize dehauler.
In 2009 she planted 20kg MGV 4 variety of groundnuts and sub-contracted 14 farmers to whom she gave 10kg of MGV 4 groundnut seed per person. Her harvest at 700 kg was less than expected due to poor rains but even after keeping seed for a larger outgrower project in 2010, she made more than $800 in cash.
Out of the income from groundnuts seed and sunflower cake sales, she bought household food requirements including maize and fertilizer for the next season.
The Maize and Satellite Dish Bought by Mr Mbewe
In the case of the farmers sub-contracted by Mrs Mwale, the excess produce over and above what they paid back to her was used to improve their diet and some was sold within the community to generate income. That income was used to meet other household needs including the purchase of food.