Salima-based Talimbika Agro-Processing and Marketing Cooperative Society has unveiled plans to double its sunflower oil output from 400 litres to 900 litres per day following a K149 million capital boost from United States African Development Foundation (USadf).
The cooperative, established in 2011, provides technical support and market to about 106 sunflower farmers.
The cooperative’s business manager Pharison Chiwoko said on Tuesday it has the capacity to process 900 litres of oil per day, but due to capital inadequacy and outdated processing machine, it was only producing 400 litres per day.
“The grant we have received from USadf will enable us reach our full potential. We are going to buy a new machine which is capable of reaching our target and we will also be able to buy more sunflower from both our farmer members and other farmers,” he said.
Chiwoko said the new machine will be able to crush 2.5 tonnes of sunflower per day, translating into a growing market for sunflower farmers.
“We buy sunflower from our farmer members, but since they cannot be able to supply all the required quantity, we also buy from non-member farmers so we are creating a market in a way,” he said.
USadf country programme coordinator Lynda Ndovie Jere advised the cooperative to adhere to the terms stipulated in the grant contract between the two entities.
Some of the clauses in the five-year contract include submitting quarterly reports, doing some social responsibility programmes within its area and increasing its membership.
USadf was established to support African-driven solutions, and in Malawi, it has provided 55 grants worth over $80 million (about K59 billion) in the coffee, dairy, rice and sunflower oil production sectors.