12 November 2012

Zambia: Petauke Farmers Body Starts Cooking Oil Project

THE Petauke District Farmers Association (PDFA) has embarked on a community-based cooking oil project that will help create employment and improve the living standards of locals.

PDFA, an affiliate of Zambia National Farmers' Union (ZNFU) would this week start a K450 million cooking oil and peanut butter processing project which would see more than 4000 local farmers benefiting.

Project manager, Peter Mbewe said in an interview in Petauke at the weekend that the project was significant as it would not only create employment but provide business opportunities for the local people.

Mr Mbewe said the project once started would make readily available cooking oil which would in turn improve the nutrition needs for the local families.

He said such projects were good to the local people as they would contribute to their livelihoods because there was a high level of domestic dependency on commodities for day-to-day needs.

Mr Mbewe said the total K452, 210.320 grant provided by the Africa Development Foundation (ADF) was an indication that the donor community was committed to promoting people's livelihoods.

He said PDFA which was aiming at producing 10,000 litres of cooking oil per year would offer its products to hospitals, schools, orphanages and other organisations.

Mr Mbewe said so far four processing machines have been bought for the star pilot project which was expected to kick off this week.

Meanwhile, PDFA has embarked on seed growing project to build capacity among local farmers to grow groundnuts of high level nutrition.

Mr Mbewe said in an interview that the association had identified 22 local farmers who would undergo training on how to produce groundnuts of high grade nutrition.

He said the move was aimed at boosting the operation of the cooking oil project and giving out good nutrition to the people of Petauke and beyond.

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