United States African Development Foundation (USadf) has given Kwithu Kitchen Cooperative Society a grant of S$80 000 (about K55 million) to enhance the cooperative’s business and farming activities.
Kwithu Kitchen is a Mzuzu-based food processing cooperative which adds value to agricultural products.
The group processes fresh tomatoes, puts them in cans and sells in various outlets in Mzuzu.
USadf country programmes coordinator Linda Ndovie Jere said the grant will help Kwithu Kitchen to advance its business of canning tomatoes.
She said USadf supports agri-business groups in the country to take agriculture as business; hence, signing the two-year agreement which will end on June 30 2018.
“In Malawi as you know, a lot of our produce gets wasted because they all mature at the same time and we are not able to preserve them. If you go to Jenda [in Mzimba], you will see tomatoes being wasted,” she said, during the signing of the agreement between the cooperative and USadf in Mzuzu on Friday.
Kwithu Kitchen executive director Anna Msowoya Keys said the grant will help the cooperative to expand and diversify its activities.
She said the concept of Kwithu Kitchen began in 2010 after noting high rates of tomato spoilage in Mzuzu and the group learned how to process and preserve tomatoes.
Keys said the group is owned by 17 women who hold equal shares and their goal is to increase income and improve their well-being.
USadf is an independent agency of the United States (US) Government established to support Africa-driven solutions that address grassroots economic and social problems.—Mana