Smallholder farmers are constrained by the seasonality of their agricultural income and inadequate post-harvest storage. As a result, crops are stored in farmers' homes where insects, rats, mold, and moisture can easily result in high crop loss. Additionally, high interest rates, lump sum payments, or other emergencies force farmers to sell when prices are lowest. CDI is addressing the need for post-harvest storage by building and operating community grain bulking centers. These community warehouses will provide safe and secure crop storage; allow farmers to monetize their harvest at strategic times in the year; provide access to cash year-round through warehouse receipts; enable farmer organizations to aggregate larger volumes, improving leverage with buyers; and serve as collateral against bank loans, providing additional security to lenders. In the 2014-15 season, CDI constructed its first community warehouse—a 500 tonne grain bulking center in the Mchinji district. In the first year, the warehouse will accept maize, soy, and groundnut from approximately 2,000 smallholder farmers. Upfront and ongoing training will be provided to staff to ensure that crops are properly stored, accurately graded, and conform to export quality standards.
Moyo Nuts & Seeds
In 2014, CDI formed a joint venture with Moyo Nuts & Seeds to develop the groundnut value chain and a modern, integrated, and efficient groundnut growing and processing operation in Malawi. The project seeks to initiate local production of quality seeds, production of quality commercial and edible product, and marketing of products locally, regionally, and internationally. Moyo is a joint-venture with Canon Garth Limited, a global leader in peanut breeding, handling, and marketing.
In the first year of operation, Moyo trialed eight new varieties of groundnuts and purchased more than 600 tonnes of groundnut from smallholder farmers. CDI field officers integrated groundnuts into their training for smallholder farmers, teaching improved climate-smart practices to increase production.