A peanut butter factory has just been set up in Lichinga, the capital of Niassa province in northern Mozambique, as part of an initiative by the community organisation ESTAMOS, to reward the efforts of communities growing peanuts in the Niassa National Reserve buffer zone.
The project was funded with about 1.4 million meticais (around US$25,190 at current exchange rates) provided by US Embassy in Mozambique, which was invested in production equipment for the factory and a fund to train the workforce.
Called “Oi Niassa”, the factory, which is operating on a trial basis, produces peanut butter in 400 and 800 gram quantities.
Daily ‘Notícias’ reports Somos executive director Feliciano dos Santos as saying that his association is responding to significant recent increases in peanut production in Mavago, Mecula, Marrupa, Muembe and Sanga districts, all located in the Niassa National Reserve buffer zone.
“At the moment there are four butter production/processing machines in operation, and we think production volumes will increase as the number of consumers also increases, alongside raw material production in these districts,” Dos Santos says.
Peanut butter from the factory will be showcased at Maputo International Fair (FACIM) 2019, which is taking place from 26th of this month to 1 September. The aim is to advertise Niassa’s potential for processing local food product raw materials, closing the value chain.
Dos Santos also trumpeted the many health benefits of peanut butter, whose nutritional value could help reduce the high rates of chronic malnutrition which affect the population of the northern province of Mozambique, particularly in the zero-to-five years age group.
The butter, made from peanut oil with added salt, has been subjected to laboratory analysis and certified as fit for consumption by the health sector responsible for this process.