5 simple things you can do to add value to your produce
In previous years, farming in Kenya has been purely to sell to the market as is. However, the curious practice by Kenyan farmers to stick to certain crops has worked against them. It usually results in the oversupply of the same commodity and loss of the same when they do not sell in time. Certain produce, such as tomatoes, bananas, and other fruits tend to have a lower shelf life, expiring before the farmer has the time to make money from them and hence require steps to add value to them.
Value addition not only helps farmers weather the storm of oversupply, it also helps them fetch better prices for the same produce. Click To Tweet Value addition will also help you make use of certain post-harvest things that you would never have thought of using, to make money. Here are some of the ideas you could use to add value to your produce:
- Homemade peanut butter
One of the most instantly identifiable ways to add value to your produce in Kenya has got to be homemade peanut butter. Homemade peanut butter in Kenya has quickly become a staple in most households, rivalling more commercial brands. It is well-liked because of its consistency, pocket friendliness and best of all it is organic. To the farmer, it is a way of making the most out of a peanut harvest, while reducing wastage. As a farmer, you can make more out of a kilo of peanuts, if you turned it into peanut butter instead. The market is also readily available, hence the instant appeal.
Most potato, cassava, and banana farmers are always contending with what to do with their extra produce, in times of oversupply. This is especially true of banana and potato farmers, whose produce is likely to go bad if it is not sold or consumed soon after harvest. The best way to overcome this is to turn them into crisps. Crisps have a higher shelf-life, extending the longevity of the produce by about 2 to 4 months. Farmers in Murang’a for instance, have found an intelligent way of using solar driers to turn their excess produce into banana crisps. They have even devised a way to infuse the crisps with varieties of pepper to make them spicy. This not only enables them to make more money from the bananas, it also reduces wastage considerably.
- Bees Wax
Farmers in areas of Ukambani that are known for beekeeping have now started making beeswax candles. The candles are made from the waste that they would normally have disposed of after processing the honey. The beeswax candles not only fetch more than ordinary wax candles, they help reuse what would otherwise have been waste.
Here is a great topic on how to use Digital marketing to market your produce and grow your agribusiness.
- Pickled produce
Pickling is an art that has recently been introduced in Kenya. It is the art of preserving food and extending its lifespan of certain foods by anaerobic fermentation. This is a complicated way of saying that there are certain foods, especially fruits, which can be preserved by putting them in brine or vinegar. This gives them a tangy flavor, but the preserved fruits can be sold in cans. This works with tomatoes, mangoes, and cucumbers among other fruits.
- Things you can do with milk
Value addition on milk is pretty straightforward. Farmers have been making homemade yoghurt, milk powder and ghee. Recently however, they have started a new way of mixing milk with sweet potatoes to form something called portaghurt.