When dancing, it is you who make the dust: Marketing and processing groundnuts, episode one

Post-harvest activities

Notes to broadcasters

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When dancing it is you who make the dust is a four-episode drama that includes a dramatized interview with an agricultural extension officer or marketing and processing expert after each episode of the drama. The drama and the interviews focus on marketing and processing groundnuts to increase farmers’ incomes and reduce aflatoxin contamination. They focus on the situation in Malawi, but can easily be adapted to other African countries that grow groundnuts.

The fictional interviews with the extension workers and marketing and processing experts are based on actual interviews.
You could use this drama as inspiration to produce a similar program on adding value and marketing groundnuts.
Or you might choose to present this drama as part of your regular farmer program, using voice actors to represent the speakers. You could present one episode every week for four weeks. After the program, you could follow up by inviting a local groundnut extension agent or scientist to take phone-in and text-in questions and comments from local farmers on the material in the drama.



NAMAGELO: A very industrious widow from town who has chosen to stay in the
village to farm and operate a processing business. Elder sister of
Namilazi. A landlord who rents out her house in town in order to get
revenue to support her children in school.

JESCA: Young woman from a poor family with one child. Married to Chekani
and is a friend to and admires Namilazi and her family. She breaks her
family out of poverty by earning extra money from businesses that
allow her husband time to work in his garden.

CHEKANI: Husband of Jesca, born in a poor family. Struggling to break out of
poverty, he does wage labour and piecework instead of working in his
own garden.

DORA: Sister-in-law of Namilazi

CHIBWE: Farmer, owns a maize mill, ambitious, drunkard and hard-working

NAMILAZI: Wife of Chibwe. Intelligent, she is a standard 8 dropout because
her parents could not afford to pay secondary school for two children.
She stays in her village; Chibwe married her and came to live with her.

Note to broadcaster: Estimated running time for episode 1 is 20-25 minutes with beginning and end music.


PRESENTER: Welcome to this series of dramas on marketing and processing groundnuts. Today’s drama is entitled When dancing, it is you who make the dust or Pagule fumbi ndiwe mwini in the Chichewa language. When you are a dancer, you are the one who controls how much dust you make and how much to entertain the spectators.

Are you a groundnut farmer? I am your presenter, ________, and I will be bringing you episodes of this drama every ____ afternoon for the next four weeks on (name of radio station).

As part of today’s episode of the drama, we present a fictionalized interview with an agricultural extension officer.

After that interview, we will open our phone and SMS lines to talk about adding value to groundnuts and marketing issues in groundnuts. Our guest will be ____. Our numbers for phone calls are ____, and our SMS lines are ___.


PRESENTER: Today’s first episode focuses on challenges which people who want to sell unprocessed groundnuts meet and how some people are successfully addressing these problems.

Later on in the program, we’ll be joined by Mr. Banda, an agricultural extension development officer. Enjoy the drama.



NAMILAZI: Who’s there?

CHIBWE: It’s me, Chibwe. Namilazi! I didn’t know you were home. You have already closed the maize mill at four o’clock in the afternoon? The sun has not yet set. Why?

NAMILAZI: Yes, I have closed it, Chibwe, my husband. Very few people are coming to the mill these days.

CHIBWE: Yes, I noticed a decrease in customers. What’s wrong?

NAMILAZI: Nothing is wrong. It’s just that many people milled their flour in advance when they had more money and there wasn’t as much field or garden work to do.

CHIBWE: So now people are busy in their gardens?

NAMILAZI: Yes. (SURPRISED) You are asking as if you didn’t know. Didn’t we mill our flour in advance?

CHIBWE: Yes, we did. But I am worried – I was not expecting the business to be this bad.

NAMILAZI: It is ok; it’s giving us time to do other work too. Why do you look sad, my husband? Is it about our milling business?

CHIBWE: No, I haven’t found good prices for our groundnuts yet. It is getting towards planting season and the prices were supposed to pick up. This is very unusual. The buyers are still offering very low prices.


CHIBWE: I am told that buyers were surprised by the government’s ban on exporting groundnuts last year. The ban meant that all the nuts which the buyers bought had to be sold and consumed in Malawi. No exports.

NAMILAZI: Do you think the government wants us to export only manufactured products and not raw groundnuts?

CHIBWE: (IMPRESSED) Namilazi, what made you think of that? You are indeed very clever. I also think that the government had good intentions by banning exports … but some buyers are taking advantage of the ban to offer lower prices than last year’s.

NAMILAZI: Sometimes we smallholder farmers demand very high prices for our products. Are we aware that processing companies will sell back the products to us at even higher prices?

CHIBWE: I heard one organization complain that we sometimes want too much money for the little we produce.

NAMILAZI: Anyway, I don’t think our companies in Malawi are making good enough products to compete with foreign companies. Imagine, last year we received good prices − 400 kwacha per kilogram of groundnuts. This year the prices are very low – how much is it, my husband?

CHIBWE: This year it is 250 kwacha per kilogram.

NAMILAZI: Did you check at associations like the National Association of Smallholder Farmers to see what price they are offering?

CHIBWE: Yes, NASFAM is buying at 250 kwacha. The other buyers are paying 220.

NAMILAZI: I heard that, at the beginning of the selling season, buyers were offering 400 kwacha for a kilogram but later reduced the price to 200.

CHIBWE: Yes. It’s because we have more nuts than local buyers want to buy. We were talking about exports bans … Maybe we have fewer processing plants for groundnuts in Malawi. But I don’t know why the buyers have failed to maintain last season’s prices.

NAMILAZI: It is strange. Maybe someone somewhere is not doing his job. I have heard there are no laws to protect farmers from buyers’ dishonest actions in contract farming and liberalized markets.

CHIBWE: (WORRIED AND CHANGING SUBJECT) By the way, did you check if our nuts are still good and not rotting?

NAMILAZI: Yes, I check often. The unshelled nuts are intact in the sacks and at the right moisture levels. The platforms which raise the bags off the ground prevent moisture from contaminating the nuts. The rats are not attacking them, maybe because of our cat.

CHIBWE: Even if we didn’t have a cat, rats could not easily attack those nuts. (PAUSE) If you had not refused to cook them when they were still fresh, they could all be sold by now.

NAMILAZI: (ANNOYED) Are you accusing me of being responsible for failing to sell our nuts?

CHIBWE: To a certain extent, yes. If you had cooked the nuts, we could have made some money.

NAMILAZI: (AMAZED AND INDIGNANT) You must be joking! Cooking is for small-scale business people. Besides, do you think I could have finished cooking all the nuts before they were contaminated by aflatoxin?

CHIBWE: There you are right − aflatoxin could have indeed contaminated our nuts.

NAMILAZI: Why didn’t you sell them fresh? Fresh nuts were fetching good prices.

CHIBWE: You are right; we made a mistake by not selling our nuts fresh. We thought the price of dried nuts would be better than last year. We were wrong.

NAMILAZI: So why did you accuse me of causing this mess? Before we planted those nuts, I told you that I would not cook them because it would be a backward step for me.

CHIBWE: You did, my wife. The village headman gambled well last year when he sold the nuts fresh. Why didn’t I think of trying that?

NAMILAZI: Don’t blame yourself too much. This is simply another lesson to learn. We should always decide before growing groundnuts how we are going to sell them. We can sell them fresh to vendors or dry them for processing. We can even sell them under a marketing contract.

CHIBWE: You are right.

NAMILAZI: Anyway, I will listen to farm radio programs tomorrow. They have a segment where they share market prices and ideas on how to sell groundnuts.

CHIBWE: On which radio stations?

NAMILAZI: On Zodiak, Malawi Broadcasting Corporation and some community radios.

CHIBWE: That will help. Please listen. I will listen too.




CHIBWE: (COMING ON-MIC) Namilazi, I am back.

NAMILAZI: Before I tell you what the radio said, is there any good news about the price of groundnuts?

CHIBWE: No, it’s still 250 kwacha per kilogram. No change.

NAMILAZI: The best thing is to process our nuts into oil and products like peanut butter which sell at good prices.

CHIBWE: Yes, that is true, but that remains just a dream for us because we do not have the right equipment for processing nuts. (PAUSE) What did the radio say about the best way and the best place to sell the nuts?

NAMILAZI: They mentioned the same prices as you. …The good thing is that they compare prices in all districts in Malawi. The groundnut prices are almost the same everywhere. Where they are higher than here, if you add the cost of transporting the nuts, it is just the same as selling here…. But for other crops, the prices are better elsewhere, so it is a very good program. I will continue listening to it.

CHIBWE: So what do we do about your clothes? You said you need new clothes. The maize mill is not doing well this season.

NAMILAZI: What are you trying to say? Do you mean you can’t give me the money from the maize mill?

CHIBWE: I am saying what you already know. We are not making any money from the maize mill, so what do you expect? Do you want us to withdraw some money we kept for school fees or for major repairs of the maize mill? I have given you the nuts which we kept to sell when the prices rose. You can sell them when you want.

NAMILAZI: Okay, because I do not want to quarrel with you. I have those nuts. Let me do what I want to do with the nuts you gave me.

CHIBWE: Do you want to sell them right now at a low price? If you want, you can. I cannot stop you; they are yours.

NAMILAZI: No; I will keep the groundnuts at the Agricultural Commodities Exchange warehouse and use the warehouse receipt system.

CHIBWE: What is wrong with keeping the nuts in our house?

NAMILAZI: (ANGRY) Do you want to take the nuts back? You will snatch them back from me when you see the prices rise, I know. I do not want that. I want full control.

CHIBWE: I won’t snatch them back. But other people will steal our nuts there.

NAMILAZI: You should call them my nuts, not our nuts. They are mine. They are hidden clothes of mine.

CHIBWE: Ok, they’re your nuts. Why do you want to risk keeping the nuts at the Agricultural Commodities Exchange warehouse?

NAMILAZI: Keeping crops there is safe; it’s as good as cash.

CHIBWE: What do you mean?

NAMILAZI: They give you a valid receipt which you can take to some banks and get money. The receipt is your security.

CHIBWE: Then the bank gets the nuts?

NAMILAZI: No, the nuts will still be mine. But when the prices improve, I can sell them and pay the money back to the bank and keep the profit.

CHIBWE: That sounds great. You can keep those nuts at the Agricultural Commodity Exchange warehouse – but at your own risk.

NAMILAZI: It is safe and approved by the government. Nothing will happen there. (PAUSE) What do you think is the best way to sell the nuts?

CHIBWE: I think the best is contract growing. You agree with a buyer before you grow that you will produce a certain amount of nuts and the buyer will pay an agreed price. That is the best to me.

NAMILAZI: I like that too. The only problem is that our country does not have laws on contract marketing and farming, so if you deal with dishonest buyers you are in trouble.

CHIBWE: Then the best is to sell to an association where you are a member. They will sell the groundnuts and give you a bonus if they make a bigger profit.

NAMILAZI: They do not usually give bonuses, so it is better not to think about that.

CHIBWE: But they sometimes give bonuses, so it is part of the deal.

NAMILAZI: You are right. I like contract marketing. To me, that is the number one option. The warehouse is the second best option as it helps you have patience … but contract farming is a readily available market where you already know the minimum selling price.

CHIBWE: Even vendors sometimes give good prices, remember.

NAMILAZI: Yes. It is important not to be desperate, but to take your time and wait for the best opportunities.

CHIBWE: What you are planning to do – keeping your nuts at the Agricultural Commodities Exchange and getting a loan from the bank– I think this is one of the best initiatives in our country.

NAMILAZI: Yes, the warehouse receipt system is very good; I like it too. That is how my sister Namagelo got a loan to buy groundnuts from other farmers. She wants to start processing those nuts soon.

CHIBWE: Oh, so that is where my in-law got the money to buy groundnuts in the village. I thought she was using her late husband’s death gratuity.

NAMILAZI: No, that money is for the children to finish school. She also uses the money from renting out her house for the school fees. Namagelo will be coming to stay in the village to process her nuts here and start farming at a commercial level.

CHIBWE: What? Is she dreaming? How can a woman manage a factory to process all the nuts she bought?

NAMILAZI: So you still think it is only men who can do big things?

CHIBWE: No, I hear there are women who are rich and capable. Is she one of them? Let’s wait and see.

NAMILAZI: I will definitely join her.

CHIBWE: (A LITTLE SARCASTIC) Join her in the nut processing factory? That is just a dream. Wait until you wake up from your sleep and things become real. Then talk to me about joining her.

NAMILAZI: (DETERMINED) I know my sister. She is a very strong woman. She believes she was wasting time in the town. She wants to stay in the village and make money. (PAUSE) Nsima is ready. Please put it on the table. (Editor’s note: Nsima is a thick, starchy porridge made from maize, cassava or other starch flour. It’s normally made from maize in Malawi.)

CHIBWE: What are you taking to the dining table?

NAMILAZI: I will take water for washing our hands and salt.

CHIBWE: Ok, yes, I will take nsima and relish.

NAMILAZI: Thank you, my dear, for giving me the nuts I will keep until the prices rise. I will use them to get some money from the bank and buy these cheap groundnuts people are still keeping in their homes. With that money, I can increase the capital which I will use with my sister Namagelo.

CHIBWE: I wish you a nice dream. Do whatever you want. But I am watching.

NAMILAZI: We will see soon who is dreaming between you and me.




CHILDREN: (SHOUTING REPEATEDLY) The transferer (wosamuka)! The transferer! (Editor’s note: The truck is bringing Namagelo’s things because she is “transferring” from the town to the village.)

DRIVER: Madam Namagelo, don’t you have friends or relatives to help you carry these things?

NAMAGELO: Mr. Driver, do not worry. These children will help me. Woman, what is your name?

JESCA: I am Jesca, the wife of Mr. Chekani.

NAMAGELO: I am Namagelo, elder sister of Namilazi. Where is Namilazi?

JESCA: She is coming. She was at the maize mill. She sent me here to see who brought the lorry to her sister’s house. Oh, there she comes.


NAMILAZI: Welcome, sister Namagelo. Thank you for waking me up from my dream.

NAMAGELO: Did you think I was lying, or what do you mean?

NAMILAZI: No, I know you mean what you say. But your in-law, my husband, doubted that you would really come. Where is the peanut butter-making machine?

NAMAGELO: It’s in that big carton.

JESCA: You will be making peanut butter?

NAMAGELO: Yes. Do you want to join us? Do you have unsold nuts?

JESCA: Yes, I will join and I have some nuts. Should I talk to my husband about this?

NAMILAZI: You can, my friend. Let’s hope he will not suppress you. Anyway, if that happens, we will talk to him. Men are often afraid of their wife’s empowerment.

NAMAGELO: Another solution to unsold nuts is simply to process them. So we will start this processing strategy tomorrow morning. You’d better hurry to talk to your husband!

NAMILAZI: No, not tomorrow. We need to tell all the people in the village. Then, any woman who wants to can join.

NAMAGELO: You are right. Tomorrow we will have a meeting with all the villagers. We have no time to waste. How did you manage to keep some nuts, Jesca?

JESCA: They were for my food. I kept them for seasoning my relish.

NAMAGELO: Okay, you kept some. That is good. You are not like most smallholder farmers who sell everything when they see that prices of food crops are high.

NAMILAZI: Yes, we forget that the prices for buying back those foods will be higher too. Traders do not want to take a loss. Higher selling prices mean higher buying prices.

JESCA: You are right. Those nuts are my capital. How can you help me then? I really want to join this group.

NAMILAZI: You can join the group, Jesca. How are we going to help her, sis?

NAMAGELO: I think she can earn her capital slowly from the cash that we are going to pay her for her labour. That way, she can raise her shares in the company slowly.

JESCA: (VERY HAPPY) Thank you, madam.

NAMAGELO: I am Namagelo, not madam. We will come up with different ways to help you increase your shares.


NARRATOR: Namagelo and her friends will be back next week. Now we come to the segment of our programme where we chat with experts. Today we are joined by the agricultural extension development officer. Mr. Banda, please greet the listeners.

MR. BANDA: Greetings, my fellow farmers. How is farming progressing this time around in our gardens? Have you already started (insert appropriate farming practice for the time of broadcast)?

NARRATOR: Mr. Banda, we have heard that groundnut marketing has been difficult this year. As the agricultural adviser, what methods of marketing do you recommend?

MR. BANDA: Farming works best when you know where you will sell your crops. I believe you farmers will agree with me. So we are promoting contract farming − where a farmer grows a crop already knowing to whom he or she will sell.

NARRATOR: Is that possible? I thought that was simply a fantasy, Namilazi and husband Chibwe chatting.

MR. BANDA: It is possible to know who will buy your nuts even before you start farming. But …

NARRRATOR: But what?

MR. BANDA: … but only when you can supply larger quantities. So it is easier to know who will buy your nuts when you are in groups. Buyers are interested in large quantities, like 100 tonnes or more. Individual small–scale farmers cannot supply that market.

NARRATOR: How can farmers join groups?

MR. BANDA: We are encouraging villages to form groups which are called clubs. These clubs should be affiliated to a larger association. The major and best-known association in Malawi is NASFAM, the National Smallholder Farmers Association of Malawi.

NARRATOR: Why is it necessary to be affiliated to a larger association?

MR. BANDA: As I said, buyers need bigger quantities, like one hundred tonnes. A club cannot supply that quantity. But the association can. So the future belongs to the organized, as NASFAM says.

There is another method which individuals can use to market their crops. This is the warehouse receipt system that the Agricultural Commodity Exchange is promoting. This is working for farmers who have such warehouses near to them.

NARRATOR: Yes, I heard Namilazi saying that she will get a loan from the bank. How can farmers benefit from a warehouse receipt system?

MR. BANDA: Farmers, if the prices at the market are lower than you expected, you can store your crops at the warehouse. You will be given a receipt showing how many bags you are storing, the grade, and an estimate of the selling price. You can get 70% of the total estimated value of your produce as a loan from the First Merchant Bank using your receipt as collateral. You repay the loan after you sell your produce.

NARRATOR: How does this benefit farmers?

MR. BANDA: This is a great opportunity for farmers to do business and get easy loans without any collateral. Patient farmers buy produce from fellow farmers who cannot wait for the prices to rise. You can get a loan and buy from those who are selling at lower prices. The Agricultural Commodity Exchange can also help you sell your grains at negotiated prices. That is because the Agricultural Commodity Exchange can bid on behalf of all of its customers and supply buyers with much larger quantities than a few farmers can provide.

NARRATOR: That sounds great. We are running out of time. Do you have any last words of advice?

MR. BANDA: The future belongs to the organized. Farmers, look around and ask your agricultural extension development officer and your friends what marketing methods are available in your area. Choose one. You can join a club and association, or use Agricultural Commodity Exchange warehouses.


PRESENTER: Thank you, listeners, for listening to the first episode in our four episode drama, entitled When dancing, it is you who make the dust. It is up to you to choose how much dust to make when dancing. The ball is in your hands. Which method do you want to use – vendors, or clubs and associations for contract farming, or warehouse receipt systems? The choice is yours. Thank you for listening.

We will now open our phone and SMS lines. With us today is (name of expert). He/she can answer your questions about marketing groundnuts and adding value to groundnuts in our country. Our phone numbers are ___ and our SMS lines are ___.

A grasshopper travels a long way just by hopping: Marketing and processing groundnuts, episode two

Note to broadcaster: The estimated running time for episode 2 is 20 minutes with beginning and end music.

PRESENTER: Today, we present the second episode of When dancing, it is you who make the dust, a series of radio dramas on marketing and processing groundnuts that includes dramatized interviews with an agricultural extension officer, and an expert on business development. The drama and the fictional interview focus on marketing and processing groundnuts in Malawi, but can readily be adapted to other African countries that grow groundnuts.

Today’s episode is entitled A grasshopper travels a long way just by hopping or Tsokonombwe adatha mtunda ndi kudumpha in the Chichewa language. The title means that, whatever way you think can move yourself forward, use it – whether it’s walking, running – or hopping!

As usual, you are with your presenter _____, who brings you this program every ____ (afternoon, evening) on (name of radio station). Remember that after the drama, we have a discussion about business planning with a social welfare officer who provides counselling and advice on business and gender issues. After that we will open our phone and SMS lines to talk about adding value to and marketing groundnuts. Our numbers for phone calls are ____, and our SMS lines are __. Now, relax and enjoy today’s drama.



CHIBWE: (SHOUTS) Namilazi! Wake up! It’s four in the morning and time to go to the maize mill.

NAMILAZI: Mr. Chibwe, my husband, I told you yesterday that I have a meeting this morning.

CHIBWE: What meeting are you talking about?

NAMILAZI: We are meeting at Namagelo’s house at six this morning.

CHIBWE: (SCORNFUL) Who is Namagelo? The widow?

NAMILAZI: Yes, the widow, my sister, your in-law. Why are you asking?

CHIBWE: This woman is bringing laziness to many women. I often see you women at Namagelo’s house. What do you do?

NAMILAZI: You mean you were drunk yesterday? You couldn’t understand what I told you? That woman, Namagelo, is an angel from heaven, the kind of woman we have been looking for in this village.

CHIBWE: (DISMISSIVE) What can a poor woman like her tell you – a woman who failed to stay in town after her husband passed away?

NAMILAZI: Namagelo is not what you think. She is richer than us. She is here just to empower us. She has good houses in town which she rents out. If she is poor, how did she manage to buy all those groundnuts?

CHIBWE: (UNCONVINCED) Why is she in the village?

NAMILAZI: I told you. She wants to start processing groundnuts. And she has always wanted to empower the women in her village. She wants to form a women’s group where we can learn how to process different types of products and sell them through chain stores in town.

CHIBWE: (LAUGHS LONG) Ha! Ha! Ha! Don’t make me laugh this morning. You had a nice dream last night, didn’t you? It sounds like you have still not woken up.

NAMILAZI: It is you who are dreaming if you think women cannot have creative minds and be independent. It is no longer a dream. I saw the machines for processing.

CHIBWE: (WORRIED) So Namagelo wants to turn my wife against me? Before you go to your Namagelo, you should start the maize mill. I will take over from you at ten o’clock.

NAMILAZI: (INSISTENT) I said I am busy today. If you are not going to be at the maize mill, who will? Change your plan, please … today we are making sample products to show our customers in town.

CHIBWE: (LAUGHS) What can you process well enough to sell to people in town, you villagers?

NAMILAZI: You obviously don’t take us seriously, so why should I answer your question? Anyway, we are processing groundnuts into a number of products.

CHIBWE: Where will you get the nuts?

NAMILAZI: We have plenty of nuts. You know already that Namagelo was in the village buying groundnuts. The nuts she grew and some that she bought are at the Agricultural Commodity Exchange warehouse. My share of our business is the nuts that you gave me to do any kind of processing I want and sell.

CHIBWE: I thought you decided not to go into processing.

NAMILAZI: I didn’t say I wouldn’t process the nuts. All I said was that cooking nuts is too small a business for me.

CHIBWE: So you were just against the type of processing I suggested − cooking nuts − and not against the idea of processing?

NAMILAZI: I am a capable woman. I will not sell roasted and cooked nuts. That is a very good idea for women who are new in business and have less capital.

CHIBWE: But when you refused to cook them, I made a plan to sell those nuts on my own.

NAMILAZI: Cooking nuts would have been pure relegation, a step backwards for me. But this time my work is a promotion. It will be like a company, with labels, packaging and other important things. We are even planning to be certified in the future.

CHIBWE: (A LITTLE SARCASTIC BUT IMPRESSED) You are really dreaming in colour! Really thinking big!

NAMILAZI: Why not dream in colour? We were told by the late former President Bingu Wa Muntharika to dream in colour. Don’t you remember?

CHIBWE: Yes, I do, only that your dream is interfering with my plan to do other things with those nuts. Can’t you see that?

NAMILAZI: (RAISING VOICE IN ANGER) That will not happen. What is your problem? When shall I be able to do what I want and you accept and love it?

All I know is that you gave me those nuts. You said you would not buy me clothes if I refused to cook the nuts – and I stayed quiet to avoid quarrelling with you. But what you should know is that even if you refuse to give me those nuts, I will still have money anyway.

CHIBWE: And how are you going to find it?

NAMILAZI: Why will you never admit that you are always behind me in terms of knowing what is going on?

CHIBWE: (INSISTENT) How are you going to find money?

NAMILAZI: Do you remember where I stored the nuts?

CHIBWE: Yes, at the Agricultural Commodity Exchange warehouse – and I told you that we might lose our nuts to that system! Have they sold them on your behalf? Are they planning to buy them from you?

NAMILAZI: (PROUDLY) No, they have not sold them. I have a receipt for keeping my nuts with them until I decide to sell them. Now I can go to a bank like the First Merchant Bank to borrow money, using those nuts as collateral. They gave me a receipt with my photo on it.

CHIBWE: (IMPRESSED) Are you sure? Really? I remember that you told me something like that, yes … Ahh …

NAMILAZI: (PROUD) You see, you are behind me. It is not true that it’s only men who adopt new things quickly. You see. I always tell you that I contribute a lot to your riches as your wife. If you were not married to me, who knows? You might have been a poor man.

CHIBWE: (BEGRUDGING AT FIRST, BUT PROUD) I know, my wife. I wish you well. Do whatever you want with those nuts. You are brilliant. I am proud of you.

NAMILAZI: (HAPPILY) That’s my husband talking now. In fact, I will make more than two dollars per kilo for the one tonne of nuts I kept at the Agricultural Commodity Exchange.

CHIBWE: (AMAZED) Is that another dream? How? What product will produce that much from a kilogram of groundnuts?

NAMILAZI: Peanut butter. Just wait and see.



NAMAGELO: Jesca, Dora and Namilazi, I have good news! I went to a mission hospital and a private hospital to advertise our peanut butter. The purchasing officer at the mission hospital said we should give them samples. Then they will come to our place and see how we make the peanut butter. If we succeed, they will be selling for us to families with malnourished children.


NAMAGELO: The private hospital said we should give them time to think.

JESCA: I can’t believe this! Thank you, women, for empowering me. I have been looking for a way to have my own business. To be part of a big business like this is a dream come true. I will have control over my own finances now.

NAMAGELO: Don’t worry, Jesca. Good things are coming. This will help you to supplement your husband’s income and improve the quality of your family’s life. The men are trying to give us problems because they fear our independence.… If you have any problems in your families, the women’s group will talk to them. The time has come for men and women to work together and compliment each other’s efforts.
NAMILAZI: Sis Namagelo, I was going to be the first to ask you to talk to my husband because he was against my participation in this group.

DORA: To do what? Is my brother bad to you, in-law Namilazi? I thought all was smooth in your family – the rich family of our village.

NAMAGELO: Sometimes, men feel insecure and threatened when they see that you are going to be empowered. But I like him because he listens and thinks and makes a wise decision.

DORA: (ROASTING SOUND STOPS) Aunt Namagelo! Is this enough? Look – they are roasted and brown.

NAMAGELO: Yes, this is enough; they are brown. (SPEAKING LOUDLY) Let us remind one another: How do we make peanut butter? By the way, what should we call our group?

JESCA: The Survivors!

ALL: Yes, that’s a good name. We will indeed be The Survivors!

NAMAGELO: Okay. Let us continue our discussion on peanut butter processing. How do we make peanut butter?

NAMILAZI: We use clean nuts, whole nuts with no broken ones, not rotten, without aflatoxin … and we roast them in a dry hot pan.

DORA: We allow the nuts to cool down, then remove the skin and blow it away with a winnower, leaving only the nuts.

JESCA: We pound the nuts lightly and then sieve or winnow them so that we can separate the big particles.

DORA: Then we pound or grind the finer particles until the oil starts to come out and is a semi-liquid which can be easily spread on bread.

NAMAGELO: When we use a motorized mill, we follow the same process. First, we remove the skin. Then we grind the nuts until the peanut butter reaches the state we want.

But we do not roast and remove the skin when making nsinjiro (Editor’s note: groundnut flour).

NAMILAZI: We know that already.

NAMAGELO: I know you know how to make groundnut flour, but this is business and we have to make sure we all have the same understanding.

DORA: We must make sure that all the nuts are good, clean and not rotten − because this is food!

NAMAGELO: Certainly we must make sure that our business is clean. It is a unique business. We are not doing the same thing as those people who sell roasted nuts with a spoon, or sell groundnut flour in a cup. We will be packaging everything.

NAMILAZI: Ours is serious commercialization.

JESCA: Can we make cooking oil too, like we agreed on the first day?

NAMAGELO: We will be going in that direction once we have some money and have done enough market research. If we decide to start making cooking oil, we will sell the nut residues as feed to people who keep pigs and chickens.

DORA: Can’t we keep animals ourselves?

NAMILAZI: Why not? But we need to be focused and grow slowly.


NAMAGELO: Today, we will make two products − groundnut flour and peanut butter. We will take samples to the shops in town and to the clinic.

NAMILAZI: You said you have a produce shop in town, Namagelo. Shall we take samples there too?

NAMAGELO: No, we will just take the first consignment, not a sample. People are used to buying groundnut flour from my shop. We can also put peanut butter there in sachets so schoolchildren can buy it, because the shop is close to school.

NAMILAZI: Sister, you are great! We never thought of selling peanut butter to schoolchildren in small sachets. That can indeed work. We can sell it in 50-gram and 100-gram sachets.

NAMAGELO: I think we should target the poor and middle-income people with our products. So we should always sell in sachets.

NAMILAZI: Yes! We can sell a lot if we target the middle-income group and sell small packets at affordable prices.

JESCA: You know, we could also send it to the boarding secondary school. They can buy it for relish, or for porridge seasoning.

ALL: (LAUGH) Yeah …

NAMAGELO: Look, women, we are coming up with brilliant ideas. We are doing business here, so whatever we decide to do, we have to put it in writing. Otherwise, we can easily forget. And we need to do it!

NAMILAZI: How are we going to make sure that our foods have a long shelf life?

NAMAGELO: We will pack them in plastic sachets. I have a sealing machine, but even sealing with heat is ok. Many people seal their sachets with heat.

NAMILAZI: That is good. Were you making groundnut flour in town?

NAMAGELO: I bought a nut mill and tried it, but didn’t make it a full-time business. People brought their nuts to mill at my house. But I brought the mill here so my sisters could benefit. We are lucky; we have electricity in our village.

DORA: The milling machine is good because cleanliness is assured. These days, many people who sell nsinjiro take groundnuts to the millers.


JESCA: Wow, milling flour is easy and quick. Just press a button and within a few minutes you have five kilograms of flour!

DORA: Namilazi is already the expert miller in our group.

NAMILAZI: When we want finer flour, we will reduce the opening where the flour comes out, so we slow the process a little bit. More fire The Survivors!

ALL: (LAUGHTER) More fire The Survivors!

NAMAGELO: Let’s fill these sachets with peanut butter. That’s a big job. Two of us should fill the 100-gram sachets and two the 50-gram sachets.


NARRATOR: Namagelo and her friends will be back next week. Now we come to the segment of our drama where we chat with an expert. In the studio today, we have a business advisor from town, Mrs. Jane Chisale. Welcome, Madam.

MRS. CHISALE: Thank you very much. How are you, listeners?

NARRATOR: Mrs. Chisale is a social welfare officer who provides counselling and advice on business and gender issues. Madam, Namagelo and her friends have started a processing business. What can you advise people who want to start processing groundnuts like this team of women?

MRS. CHISALE: Processing is a way of adding value to your produce. Before you start any value-adding process, you must think of the following three things. First, capital: how much capital do you have? Second, the type of business: What type of processing are you going to be doing? Be creative! Don’t do what everyone is doing. And third, your market: where will you find a market for your product? And how are you going to promote your product?

NARRATOR: Those are great reminders. What do you like about this group, The Survivors, led by Namagelo?

MRS. CHISALE: They are creative; they are trying new things. In Malawi, almost all women sell groundnut flour, roasted nuts and fresh nuts. But for a change, these women are investing in making something different: peanut butter. And they have their target group in mind, the people who they will focus on selling their product to.

Another good thing is that these women are not just investing in any idea that comes their way. Before starting on products which are already on the market, like cooking oil, they will do market research. They will find out if it is profitable to venture into that business. They will research how different from other businesses they must be if they are to be successful.

NARRATOR: Thank you, madam, for your time. Finally, can you give some advice to women who give up easily on businesses?

MRS. CHISALE: Businesses differ. Some take time to pick up, while others excite people and they pick up right from the start. One problem now is that a lot of women who see that a particular business is profitable start doing that same business. They don’t do market research to see whether it will be profitable, or think of what else they could do to excite people.

Another thing to remember is that most men are afraid. They may want their wives to be empowered, but they are afraid of the new power relations that will come. However, it takes two to raise a family. So women and men need to help each other grow economically.

NARRATOR: Thank you, Mrs. Chisale, for coming in to the studio. Businesses can empower women financially. Remember to plan, research and adapt to market needs.


PRESENTER: Thank you, listeners, for being with us and listening to this episode, A grasshopper travels a long way just by hopping. Do not remain idle; try something that can add value to your crops or empower you financially. Who knows how you could help your family in times of trouble? Thank you for listening.

We will now open our phone and SMS lines. With us today is (name of expert). He/she can answer your questions about groundnut marketing and adding value in our country. Our phone numbers are ___ and our SMS lines are ___.

Seeing the snail’s eyes takes patience: Marketing and processing groundnuts, episode three

Note to broadcaster: The estimated running time for episode 3 is 20 minutes.

PRESENTER: Today, we present the third episode in our series of dramas on marketing and processing groundnuts, When dancing, it is you who make the dust. Today’s drama is entitled Seeing the snail’s eyes takes patience or kuona maso ankhono nkudekha in the Chichewa language. Today’s title reminds us that, if you want to achieve good things, you must be patient and persevere.

I am your presenter, ______, and this program comes to you every ___ on (name of radio station). After the drama, we present a discussion on business planning with a social welfare officer who provides counselling and advice on business and gender issues. As usual, later we will open our phone and SMS lines to talk about adding value to and marketing groundnuts. Our numbers for phone calls are ___, and our SMS lines are __.


PRESENTER: Stand by for the drama on marketing. If you have started processing groundnuts in the past weeks, we would like to ask you: Are you making profits? Have you found good markets? If not, be patient. To see the eyes of the snail takes time. Let’s hear how things are going with The Survivors.



NAMAGELO: (VERY HAPPY) Namilazi, Jesca and Dora, we have hit the jackpot!

NAMILAZI: More fire The Survivors!


ALL: No, don’t dance. There are children.

NAMAGELO: I will dance.

ALL: Do not dance – there are children.

NAMAGELO: Then I will undress.

ALL: No, do not undress. There are children.

NAMAGELO: I say I will undress.

ALL: No, do not undress – there are children. (LAUGHTER) More fire The Survivors!

JESCA: Namilazi and Dora, as you remember, Namagelo wanted to empower us and show us who to see at the health centre. So she went there with me.

ALL: Yes!

JESCA: I learnt a number of things and we were successful.

ALL: Yes!

JESCA: The purchasing officer wanted to buy all our samples of peanut butter.

ALL: More fire The Survivors! (LAUGHTER)

DORA: Who came up with this good motto?

JESCA: Namilazi – who else! (PAUSE) Yes, we had to plead with the purchasing officer to buy only two-thirds and leave one-third for our trial sales at the secondary school.

ALL: Yes!


NAMILAZI: You are making noise and disturbing us. Go away! Can’t you see we are in a business meeting? You are making noise. Go. Go! More fire!

ALL: More fire The Survivors!

WOMAN: You too are making noise. That‘s why we are here – to know what happened. More fire more fire what?

DORA: There is nothing for you to know; please go away.

WOMAN: We will not go; we want to join this group.

NAMAGELO: You cannot join this year. When I called every woman in the village to come and join on the first day, you refused. You said that we were dreaming.

JESCA: Some of you said that we were mad. No local person has ever sold peanut butter in Malawi, you said. You called us bad names!

NAMAGELO: Yes, I remember someone saying that I had come just to snatch away your husbands…. Do you think I would have an affair with your husbands? God should forgive you.

NAMILAZI: Go! Go away – you are delaying our meeting, doubting like Thomas Didymus of the Bible.






NAMAGELO: What were we talking about before the women and children disturbed us?

NAMILAZI: The clinic. Give us the report from the clinic, please.

JESCA: Yes. The purchasing officer was very happy with our small packs, which cost only 50 kwacha for a 50-gram and 100 kwacha for a 100-gram sachet.

NAMAGELO: Yes, indeed he is happy. It means that once the pack is opened, a child can finish it the same day, so storing it won’t be a big problem.

JESCA: He gave us cash and promised to pay us cash on delivery for further purchases. So we have 30,000 kwacha in cash. More fire …

ALL: More fire The Survivors! (LAUGHTER)

NAMAGELO: We left the other 10,000 kwacha worth of peanut butter at the boarding secondary school. The good news is that everything was sold! The tuck shop assistant gave us our cash and has ordered 50,000 kwacha more to be delivered every week.

ALL: More fire The Survivors!

NAMILAZI: They are happy with our selling prices because they can make some profit on them.

JESCA: Yes, they add some money to our selling price, but not over 25 kwacha per packet.

NAMAGELO: Do you know what that means?

ALL: No.

NAMAGELO: It means that we are wholesalers. We are selling at a little lower than our usual retail price. But those who are buying from us are selling a little higher to make a profit. So if one of us wants to sell as a retailer, she can do so, as long as she purchases the products from us with cash, the way I do at my shop in town.

NAMILAZI: Okay, so I can buy some of these products and sell them at the maize mill?

NAMAGELO: Why not?

JESCA: (VERY GRATEFUL) Thank you for that idea. I will think of how I can support my family by earning more money. Maybe I will be a retailer at the secondary school where I am selling my malambe juice (Editor’s note: juice from the baobab fruit). Thank you.

NAMAGELO: We said that we are going to benefit our members. You members are our priorities. We will try not to sell wholesale to your retail customers.

DORA: Thank you for those ideas, my in-law. What about the town market, Namagelo and Jesca? How did it go?

NAMAGELO: Unfortunately, the town is flooded with groundnut flour. Many people are selling it. So we were not successful. I left the groundnut flour we made at my shop. I have bought the bags of flour and will resell the flour gradually.

NAMILAZI: The bags were worth 10,000 kwacha. Here is the money.

NAMAGELO: Let’s calculate our profit. We have 50,000 kwacha in cash here. How many kilograms did we process?

DORA: It was 60 kilograms. We wrote it down here.

NAMAGELO: And we have made 50,000 kwacha. Which means we have sold a kilogram at how much?

NAMILAZI: We have sold at 833 per kilo and we bought the nuts at 250 per kilogram.

ALL: More fire The Survivors!

DORA: When we deduct inputs like electricity and packaging, we are making a good profit!

NAMAGELO: Plus transport to the market.

DORA: Right, but we will still have some good profit.

ALL: More fire The Survivors!

NAMAGELO: Today we will process 100 kilograms of groundnuts into peanut butter and look for new markets in the village, and in secondary schools and more clinics.

NAMILAZI: Yes, we have a readily available market within the village. So let’s go home and cook for our husbands and come back at two o’clock.

DORA: I think we can find a market even in the university’s campus shops.

NAMAGELO: Yes, why not! We should go there too. On the issue of cooking oil, women, I still think we should do more research.

SONG: ONE VOICE: Olire olire
ALL: Yee olire yee (x2) (Editor’s note: These words have no particular meaning; they are just sounds for singing.)

ALL: You were mocking us that we would not make a profit (mumatinena kuti sitiwina).
We have made a profit; you will feel the fire (lero tawina muva m’mbebe). (Editor’s note: the fire of jealousy)

ONE: Olire olire
ALL: Yee olire yea (x2)
ALL: You were mocking us that we would not make a profit.
We have made a profit; you will feel the fire.


NARRATOR: Namilazi and her friends will be back next week. Now we have come to the segment where we chat with an expert. Today we welcome back a business advisor in town, Mrs. Jane Chisale. Welcome again, Madam.

MRS. CHISALE: Thank you very much. How are you, listeners?

NARRATOR: Mrs. Chisale is a social welfare officer who provides counselling and advice on business and gender issues. Madam, you have heard how Namagelo’s business is flourishing. What do you like about this group?

MRS. CHISALE: The group is creative and is concentrating on a business that is not yet flooded in Malawi – making peanut butter. Their marketing style is also unique because they are targeting the low-income and medium-income groups and packaging in smaller packs.

NARRATOR: Why do people always copy business ideas rather than coming up with new ones?

MRS. CHISALE: People are afraid of trying new things because they do not want to lose. Business is like gambling; you can lose or you can win. Some businesses take patience to start bearing fruit.

You know, sometimes people venture into a business just because everyone else is doing it without knowing the advantages and disadvantages of that particular business. Even if a lot of people are doing the business, it takes time to research and find out more about it.

NARRATOR: Why spend so much time researching when everyone is doing the business?

MRS. CHISALE: The advantage is that you can identify and understand the areas where you can improve. In this group, for example, these women will research and discover the advantages and disadvantages of making cooking oil. Knowing how creative they are, they will surely make some improvements to the profitability of cooking oil.

NARRATOR: Thank you very much for coming in to the studio. We will speak again next week. Any last comments?

MRS. CHISALE: Yes. As you can see, these women are growing their businesses by creating new business and marketing ideas. They can sell as wholesalers and they can sell as retailers. I challenge you to come up with ways to help your business grow. Be creative in your business if you want to grow big.

NARRATOR: Once again, thank you, Mrs. Chisale, for coming in to the studio. Businesses can empower women financially. Remember to plan, research and adapt to market needs.


PRESENTER: Thank you, listeners, for being with us and listening to the third episode of our drama series on marketing and processing groundnuts, entitled Seeing the snail’s eyes takes patience. Take your time to research and know more about the business that you want to start. Be creative and have patience. Thank you for listening.

We will now open our phone and SMS lines. With us today is (name of expert). He/she can answer your questions about groundnut marketing and adding value in our country. Our phone numbers are _____ and our SMS lines are ____.
One person does not lift a roof – the value of groups: Marketing and processing groundnuts, episode four

Note to broadcaster: The estimated running time for episode 4 is 25 minutes.

PRESENTER: Today, we present the fourth and last episode in our series of dramas on marketing and processing groundnuts. Today’s drama is entitled One person does not lift a roof or Mutu umodzi suseza denga in the Chichewa language. The title means that if you are in a group, you can better share and ask for ideas and discuss the way forward.

I am your presenter, ________, and this program comes to you every ____ on (name of radio station). After the drama, we will present a discussion on business planning with a social welfare officer who provides counselling and advice on business and gender issues. As usual, later we will open our phone and SMS lines to talk about adding value and marketing groundnuts. Our numbers for phone calls are ____, and our SMS lines are __.


NARRATOR: Women, have you ever thought that you could help your family by purchasing things for your house with your own money? What are you doing to reach that goal? Listen to how Namilazi, Jesca, Dora and Namagelo are doing this in today’s drama.




NAMAGELO: Namilazi and Jesca, come here! You should be packing, while Dora is grinding and I am sealing the packets. I don’t want us to spend much time here this afternoon.

NAMILAZI: You are right, Namagelo. I would like to draw some water after this. I have left my home without a drop of water.

DORA: Why are you saying you will draw water when you will actually send servants to do it for you?

NAMILAZI: But if I did not tell the servants to do it, they wouldn’t do it. Anyway, I need to be at home to make sure that the water drums and pails are filled up.

JESCA: I think I support Namilazi.
DORA: (WITH A LITTLE BITTERNESS) I knew that you would support your friend.

JESCA: Hmmm, so you think I am taking sides?

NAMAGELO: (AFTER PAUSE) Now you have stopped talking, Dora. But why have you stopped working? Is it because Jesca is supporting Namilazi?

JESCA: It seems your in-law Dora has a short temper. She doesn’t know how people chat.

NAMAGELO: Dora, you should learn to differ with friends without getting bitter and thinking that they are attacking you.

DORA: (EMBARRASSED) I am sorry, Namagelo; I will learn. But I am not used to arguing with people.

JESCA: I think I know why this happens. You are the only child in your house, so your parents spoiled you. We are not like that.

DORA: Hmmm, I think you are right. I am learning a lot of things from you, my friend, and from my husband Mr. Gama’s humble life. When I am calm, he advises me that I easily get angry with useless and small things and I should check myself.

NAMILAZI: You will get there, my in-law; we all learn many things from our friends as we grow. But you are improving quite a lot. You are not the same way you used to be.


NAMAGELO: (WHISPERING) Jesca! Don’t go! He looks too angry; he might hit you. Let him come here; we will handle him.

JESCA: (WHISPERING) Thank you, Namagelo! (ALOUD) Yes, Papa of John, Mr. Chekani, come … what’s the problem, my husband?

CHEKANI: (ANGRY SHOUTING) Jesca! I understand you have been here doing your business all morning … what am I going to eat? Should I cook on my own?

NAMAGELO: (CALMLY) Calm down. Can’t you see that there are elderly people as old as your mother here?

CHEKANI: (CALMING DOWN) Oh, I am sorry, mum. I don’t want to be rude. I am just very hungry.

DORA: A hungry man is an angry man, they say.

NAMAGELO: My son, you must learn to control your anger if you want to be successful in the world …. (CHANGING SUBJECT) But who told you that we have been here since morning? That person is a liar. Namilazi, Jesca and Dora, have we been here since morning, women?

ALL: No!

NAMAGELO: See, my son, people are jealous of the good work that your wife is doing.

CHEKANI: (COOL) Why would these women lie? Why are they jealous?

NAMILAZI: They are jealous because we are making profits already.

NAMAGELO: Probably because we have now started refusing anyone who wants to join us at this stage. They know that we are making money. Cool down – your wife cooked for you, my son.

CHEKANI: Where is my food, mother of John?

JESCA: Papa of John, you will find your food hot. I put it on the metal plates, and put the plates on top of a pot of boiling water. I put the pot on the mild fire so that water stays boiling and heats your food with steam. It will stay hot and fresh until you eat it.

CHEKANI: Where did you learn that?

JESCA: Here, Papa of John.

CHEKANI: Thank you, women. I was eating cold food when I came home late. Now I will be eating hot food because of you. Keep it up, women. I am sorry for disturbing you.

NAMAGELO: Go and give your husband the food.

CHEKANI: No, mama, no, I will serve myself. (PAUSE) Continue your work, my dear wife.

NAMAGELO: We are trying to teach one another good manners here. So, my son, go get your food. But remember to control your temper.

JESCA: You will find some very good relish (Editor’s note: “relish” means “sauce”).

CHEKANI: Should I buy the salt you asked me about this morning?

JESCA: No, I have already bought the salt. I bought it with my share of the profit that we made and that we share to keep our families going.

CHEKANI: Oh, thank you, Namagelo, Namilazi and Dora for turning my wife into an industrious woman. Jesca, keep this 200 kwacha I made from doing piece work. I was going to use it to buy the salt. Thanks, women. This is a great relief to me. I will work in our garden now.

NAMILAZI: More fi …!

ALL: More fire The Survivors!

DORA: (AMAZED) Hey, so people have already started lying to our husbands!

NAMAGELO: Don’t worry; it will be over soon.




NAMAGELO: We have finished work early today. Let’s discuss what we learned from our market research.

NAMILAZI: Yes, tell us all that the purchasing officer told you about how they are going to use our peanut butter at the hospital. We want to learn from that.

NAMAGELO: The purchasing officer said that when we see malnourished children in our neighbourhoods, we should encourage their mothers to feed them with at least one sachet of peanut butter per day. One sachet is about three tablespoons of peanut butter. That is apart from other supplementary food. The peanut butter will help malnourished children get enough protein and improve their nutrition in a big way.

JESCA: The purchasing officer said that within one week, the child will start showing signs of improved health.

DORA: I think we should have a day when everyone in a village can attend our meetings to share good recipes for children using groundnut products.

ALL: More fire The Survivors!

NAMILAZI: What do we think about making oil now?

DORA: Let’s do the reports first. What have we found out? Do we really want to make cooking oil?

NAMAGELO: I went to see the oil pressing machines. Some are electrical and some are manual. I was looking for an efficient one.

DORA: Yes, it’s necessary to get the best one we can afford. We can lose money in this business if our machine is inefficient.

NAMAGELO: I am told the machines differ quite a lot. At Kamwendo in Mchinji District, they use four kilograms of nuts or seven kilograms of sunflower seeds to make one litre of cooking oil. I think using that much would result in a loss.

NAMILAZI: If that is true, I don’t think we should go ahead with this oil extraction business. What if the prices of groundnuts go up next year? Does it mean that the price of cooking oil will go up too?

NAMAGELO: We know a litre of cooking oil sells for 950 kwacha, but we do not know how much groundnut cake sells for.

JESCA: That is true. We need to know the price of the cake. Maybe our profits will come from selling groundnut cake.

DORA Anyway, I do not think we can sell the cake for more than a kilo of groundnuts, which is 250 kwacha at the moment.

NAMAGELO: You are right, Dora, our profits from using such a wasteful machine would be too low.

JESCA: But there are very good, easily available markets for cooking oil. Markets are everywhere.

NAMILAZI: I have an idea. Everyone buys little plastic packets of oil from vendors. We could sell cooking oil to the vendors, and they could fill and sell the packets to consumers.

NAMAGELO: Yes vendors can buy from us.

DORA: We could sell in sachets to maximize our profit.

NAMILAZI: Yes, we could sell in sachets at somewhat lower prices than vendors and maintaining our target on lower-income people.

NAMAGELO: Anyway, regarding oil pressing machines, there are many types of machines available. We will try them all and choose the most efficient and affordable one.

JESCA: I was told that there are machines which can produce more than one litre of cooking oil from two kilograms of groundnuts.

NAMILAZI: That type of machine would be good because we would make a profit from every kilogram of groundnuts. That is aside from selling the groundnut cake. That machine sounds good; let’s go for that one.

NAMAGELO: Yes, that is the machine we are looking for. If we find a machine that can produce a litre of oil from two kilograms of nuts, shall we start our oil extraction business?

DORA: Of course. We will try our best to buy that machine. How are we going to make sure that our oil is clean, with no nut residues?

NAMAGELO: We will use a clean cloth to filter the oil. Some machines take care of that. They even boil the oil to the required temperature before selling.

NAMILAZI: But we need a bigger machine, one that can produce 50 litres in two to four hours. Don’t you agree, Survivors?

ALL: More fire The Survivors!

NAMAGELO: I am told that we need to boil the cooking oil to make it safe and improve its taste.

DORA: Yes, it is necessary to boil the oil, and if we get the pressing machine, we shall indeed boil the oil. But how do we make animal feed from the groundnut residues?

NAMAGELO: It is not difficult. You mix a certain proportion of groundnut residues with a certain proportion of maize flour and some vitamins and lime if it’s for pigs. The lime helps ensure that pigs don’t eat too much soil.

CHIBWE: (OFF-MIC) Namilazi! Namilazi! Namilazi!

DORA: Namilazi, your husband is calling you. Go.

NAMILAZI: (LOUD) Oh, my husband, are you back from town already? Wait … we have already finished processing and I am just doing bookkeeping. I am coming; let’s go together. Let me help you carry your bag.

CHIBWE: (OFF-MIC) Just come; I have something to give you. I will carry my bag home.

NAMAGELO: (LOUD) How are you, my brother in-law?
CHIBWE: (ON-MIC) I am fine, my in-law. You are missing; you are so scarce these days, my elder wife (Editor’s note: In Malawi, you can call the sister of your wife a wife too.) Are you so busy with processing?

NAMAGELO: (CALM) Yes, we are trying to chase poverty away.

CHIBWE: It’s nice, women; I am impressed by your determination. You made my wife happy and she is more caring than usual. I find many nice snacks these days when I get home.

NAMILAZI: I could not buy or make those snacks before because I had to beg money from you to buy ingredients. Now that I have my own money, I just buy them myself.

CHIBWE: My in-law, my wife, Jesca and Dora my sister, I am impressed that you made your dream come true. (SOUND OF HANDING A PLASTIC PACKET OF NUTS TO NAMALAZI) Actually I bought these NASFAM nuts to help your group develop more business ideas. I am out of here. I am hungry; let’s go home and eat.

NAMILAZI: (PROUDLY) That is my husband. Thank you, my husband, for making me proud.

ALL: (LAUGHTER) We appreciate it.

NAMAGELO: Mr. Chibwe, my in-law. Keep it up! Enjoy your meal.

JESCA: Wow, so our husbands appreciate when we give them those snacks we learn about here? Thank you, Namagelo, for helping us build our families.

NAMAGELO: Don’t mention it. Actually you are also helping me forget my loving husband who died in a minibus accident. He didn’t get sick, so I couldn’t easily come to terms with his passing. It was too sudden.


NAMAGELO: This packet of nuts that Mr. Chibwe brought from NASFAM looks beautiful. Can we also package our nuts in nicely decorated packets? How many grams in that packet?

NAMILAZI: Let me see … it is a 100-gram packet.

JESCA: These 100-gram packets sell for how much?

NAMILAZI: They sell at 100 kwacha each.
NAMAGELO: I think this is another business opportunity for us. Ten 100-gram packages would be a kilogram, and a kilogram would be sold for 1000 kwacha. When we subtract the cost of packaging, other inputs and labour, we could make a good profit.

JESCA: If we sell roasted nuts, we can add different flavours. We can experiment with adding pepper, salt, sugar, chocolate and lemons. What we think is tasty will usually be tasty to other people.

NAMILAZI: Jesca is creative. What she lacks is money. Given the chance, Jesca will do great things.

NAMAGELO: I see that I have a wonderful team. All of you are great! By the end of next year, we will have nuts roasted in our own style with different flavours, we shall have cooking oil, and we shall continue our peanut butter. Should we add flavours to our peanut butter in the future too?

DORA: The salty one is enough at the moment. We will see as time goes by whether sugar-flavoured nuts will appeal to children.

NAMILAZI: More fire …

ALL: More fire The Survivors!

NAMILAZI: These nuts are sold through NASFAM, the National Smallholder Farmers Association of Malawi. The package is nicely decorated and has NASFAM’s logo and address. We should come up with a brand name for our products.

DORA: We can do it. Look: the packet was certified by the standards body. What do we need to do to get certified?

NAMAGELO: We can sell our salty peanut butter using the local name Survivors Chiponde. And we can write on the packet “Good for travellers, malnourished and sick people, students and others. Gives energy and satisfaction to keep you going.”

JESCA: Good! You have reminded me of something. When I was at school, I was a volunteer escort to some Europeans who gave us energy bars with chocolate and nuts. They were crunchy. Can we experiment with adding milk or sugar to our flavoured roasted nuts? We can call one “milky,” and we can give the one with coffee another name.


NAMAGELO: The last good news that I kept to myself is that the mission hospital has requested that from next month onward we should increase the supply of peanut butter fivefold. They want to supply all their clinics in the region. That means we will need to process and package five 50-kilogram bags of nuts for them.


NAMAGELO: They will need that quantity every two weeks. The demand for our peanut butter in boarding schools and at college is also increasing.

SONG: One: Olire olire
All: Yee olire yee (x2)
All: You were mocking us that we would not make a profit (mumatinena kuti sitiwina)
We have made a profit; you will feel the fire (lero tawina muva m’mbebe). (Editor’s note: the fire of jealousy)
One: Olire olire
All: Yee olire yea (x2)


NAMILAZI: (CALLS) Mr. Chibwe, why are you so happy? I heard you singing from afar. What is going on?

CHIBWE: Why should I be sad when the dreams of my wife are coming true, and she looks bright and happy?

NAMILAZI: Say you are joking! Is that true?

CHIBWE: Joking? Why should I joke about that? I am not joking, my love. (LOVING VOICE) Look at the mirror and see how bright you are and how your face is even more beautiful when you are fulfilled. Instead of growing old, you are becoming younger and younger. Lucky me.

NAMILAZI: To be honest, I feel honoured that you were not so selfish that you stopped me from doing business. And you know what? … I want to make an offer.

CHIBWE: What offer, my darling?

NAMILAZI: As you know, darling, my dream came true. And we have a company that is making profits. What do you want me to help you with school fees or fertilizer?

CHIBWE: Wow! So empowered women can reduce your workload sometimes, if you are married to a wise lady like you? (BOTH LAUGH)

NAMILAZI: Not only me, darling, many women desire to be empowered and to support their husbands like I want to.

CHIBWE: Thank you, darling. As you know, we already purchased all our inputs, but you can pay our son’s school fees. Thank you for not forgetting that we have needs as a family.

I thought that if you were empowered, you would stop loving me. But the opposite is true.

NAMILAZI: That is what most men fear, but it is not true. In most cases, women’s empowerment strengthens love. Just look at how Chekani and my friend Jesca are doing. They are happy; no more frequent quarrels. They have peace.


CHIBWE: So that’s how life changes – with peace and fulfilment of our needs.


NARRATOR: Thank you, listeners. That was the fourth and last episode in our series of dramas on marketing and processing groundnuts. Today we again welcome one of the business advisors in town, Mrs. Jane Chisale. Welcome, Madam.

MRS. CHISALE: Thank you very much. How are you listeners once again?

NARRATOR: Mrs. Chisale is a social welfare officer who provides counselling and advice on business and gender issues. We have heard that Namagelo and friends are full of ideas. What do you think of this?

MRS. CHISALE: What is good is that they are consistent with their product of peanut butter. We heard last week that they found a new marketing strategy − that individual members can sell retail so long as they pay cash to the group to purchase the products. They have done research: for example, they know that some oil presses are wasteful and some are good. They are going to make an informed choice on what to do and what businesses to start.

NARRATOR: Many oil pressers come as gifts as part of projects. What can people do if they are given wasteful, inefficient machines?

MRS. CHISALE: It is unfortunate that many oil extractors come as gifts. In some cases, these gifts are not the machines that would be recommended by expert business people. It is complicated in that case. But if people have a vision for the future, they can use the inefficient machine to fundraise for a better machine, whether it is small or large, so long as it helps them make more profit.

NARRATOR: What are the disadvantages of belonging to a group like The Survivors?

MRS. CHISALE: Their strength, creativity and research can become negative if they are not determined to continue creating new products which they know they can sell easily, like the milky crunchy nuts and sugar nuts. After these products gain a market, they can develop other products. The strategy is to start small and grow, not start big and shrink.

NARRATOR: Once again thank you, Mrs. Chisale, for coming in the studio. Businesses can empower women financially. Remember to plan, research and adapt to market needs.

Anything is possible with determination. What do you want to do? Do it. Process nuts in any product that you want. Who knows? You may be a pioneer or create a lovely product that has never existed before. Do not die with good dreams. Try them.


PRESENTER: Thank you, listeners, for listening to the fourth and last episode of our drama series on marketing and adding value to groundnuts. This episode was entitled One person does not lift a roof. Take your time to learn from friends; you will learn that where you are weak they are strong. Conduct research together to find out more about the business that you want to start or are already doing. Be creative and have patience. Thank you for listening.

Now the phone lines are open. You can call our phone lines at ____ and our SMS lines are ____.



Contributed by: Gladson Makowa
Reviewed by: Dr. Justus Chintu, Research Scientist (groundnut breeding), Department of Agricultural Research Services, and Dr. Philip Kamwendo, Project Coordinator-Consultant, IFAD-SPIP, c\o Rural Livelihoods and Economic Enhancement Programme (RLEEP).

Project undertaken with the financial support of the Government of Canada through the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development (DFATD)