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Monday, 29 July 2019 11:49

Community hail WOLREC for business fair

Written by  Mary Makhiringa
Farmers showing their produce during the business fair... pic by Mary Makhiringa. Farmers showing their produce during the business fair... pic by Mary Makhiringa.

Balaka, July 29, 2019: Communities around Traditional Authority Chanthunya in Balaka have hailed the Women Legal Resources Centre (WOLREC) for a business fair which has potential to connect them to markets.

Speaking Tuesday at a business fair which took place at Kankao Trading Centre where farmers who work in clusters under WOLREC came to showcase their commodities, Joseph Njolomole who is the Chairperson for Alinafe Cluster (an agri-business cluster) said fairs are essential tools for market finding.

"We have been growing various vegetables and we also keep bees for honey, but we have been facing challenges in marketing,” said Njolomole.

"Our farms are here and for us to transport our produce to Balaka Town is a problem, but with this fair, we have connected to possible customers and we hope for the better," he said.

Njolomole said they started as a savings and loan group but were later adopted by WOLREC who taught them on how to be in a cluster.

"With the money we had, we bought land on which we do our farming. WOLREC borrowed us K150, 000 which we used to buy seedlings and other things.

"As I am talking now, this year we managed to make profits amounting to K1.6 million," he said.

Estery Mangwiya of Liwinza Cooperative, who produces Malambe Juice as well as honey, concurred with Njolomole, saying the fair had come at an opportune time when they were seriously looking for possible markets.
Speaking during the business fair, WOLREC Projects Officer, Mac Chambewa said clusters are good for development as people work in groups.

"There is power in unity and if people do things as a group they can easily access loans as a group for farm inputs which can increase their yield," he said.