Team: Farmer-to-Farmer | Commitment: Volunteer | Location: Malawi

Soy Milk Processing-Mdunga/Kasiya Cooperative

The John Ogonowski and Doug Bereuter Farmer-to-Farmer (F2F) Program is authorized by the U.S. Farm Bill and managed by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). F2F works to generate rapid, sustained economic growth in the agricultural sector through short-term technical assistance provided by U.S. volunteers and supported by highly trained local staff. A secondary goal of F2F is to increase the American public’s understanding of international development issues and programs, and international understanding of the United States and U.S. development programs.

 

CNFA is implementing F2F in the Southern Africa region, working in Malawi, Mozambique, and Angola. We rely on the expertise of U.S. volunteers from diverse backgrounds to respond to the needs of hosts. These hosts can be farms, processors, cooperatives, farmer associations, or other agricultural enterprises; they vary in size and commodity focus. Each volunteer assignment has distinct objective that are determined by the needs of the host organization.

 

Issue Description

 

Mdunga/Kasiya cooperative is a group of 25 farmers who produce soymilk using soybeans grown by the individual members. The cooperative became fully registered in 2010 with the support of the Malawi Government’s One Village One Product project. The hosts’ primary market is the local community, and the main beneficiaries are the buyers and members. Buyers benefit nutritionally while the members benefit economically after selling their product.

 

 The primary challenge of this cooperative has been the short shelf life of their soymilk which has limited the level of production and access to formal markets.. Despite having received electric equipment to process soybeans and trainingon soy milk processing from OVOP, the group still needs a comprehensive training on general management of the processing equipment and training on how to improve the shelf life of their product. Mdunga/Kasiya Cooperative has requested assistance from a Farmer-Farmer volunteer to help them address their challenges in soy milk. By receiving this technical support, the cooperative hopesto produce high quality milk and reach agreements with formal markets.  

Desired Outcomes

  • Produce high quality product
  • Increase the shelf life of soymilk
  • Ability to sell soymilk at formal markets

Desired Qualifications of Volunteer

  • Experience in processing of food products particularly soy bean
  • Experience and knowledge in food science and food preservation
  • Practical experience in value addition of processed products
  • Knowledge of food safety standards
  • Willingness to work for a week or more in a rural Malawian town
  • Previous experience working with rural communities in Sub-Saharan Africa is preferred
  • Must be citizen or permanent resident of the U.S.

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