Value addition earns double cash for groundnuts trader

An agribusiness trader is earning twice from every one kilogramme of groundnuts by simple processing of the protein rich seeds to bread spread.

From every one kilogramme of raw groundnuts, Hanna Ichingwa earns a gross income of Sh320 after buying them at Sh160.

She abandoned groundnut farming and roasting for sale and rose above her competitors by plunging into value addition after seeing the potential in the less populated industry.

“What I was producing from the farm was not enough to sustain the orders of peanuts from the urban demand. I started buying groundnuts and processing. From two kilos of raw groundnuts, I get four milliliters,” Mrs Ichingwa said during the Kakamega County Agricultural Society of Kenya Show.

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Products

She processes whole, peeled and half-peeled products for the various segments of the market. The trader first dries the groundnuts to remove moisture.

To get the best quality peanut paste, sorting them to good quality is key even before starting drying them.

“Processing wet groundnuts causes aflatoxns in the end products. I dry and check the moisture content with a detector. I also air them for hardening before channeling the seeds into the milling machine for 15 minutes. It churns out porridge like substance for packaging,” she said.

Dry groundnuts

The roasting machine can handle 24 kg at a time.

Despite using dry groundnuts, the end product is usually a semi solid paste; she adds nothing. The oil in the groundnuts is responsible for the semisolid substance.

The oil also keeps off water from the end product after packaging; no preservative is added.

She packages the unpeeled products into 250g, 400g, 800g, which she sells at Sh100, Sh145 and Sh290 at wholesale.

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Peanut paste is popular

The 50 per cent peeled and the seed coatless products are sold at various higher prices more-so, to urban market.

Her husband delivers the products to the Nairobi market, where he works.

Groundnuts are gaining popularity as   bread spread as well as a thickening sauce or gravy for beef, chicken, and fish meat.

The market is shying away from commercially processed margarines because of the cholesterol in fat, which is associated with health challenges like heart attacks.

 Inchingwa can be reached on +254725546101