Project update end of April 2008

During months of March and April the Paprika Project Malawi team has been working on the two deliverables as agreed with our Project Board and described in our Project Initiation Document (PID). Product #1 concerns the Organization, to formalize a legal structure (Trust) and its related activities; product #2 concerns the Marketing Plan, to get, keep and grow the number of farmers. Both products are in their final stage and will be distributed to our Project Board shortly. 

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One of the risks signalled in our Risk Log is the distance to Malawi and related communication issues that may occur. It seems that telephone and internet connection in the capital of Malawi, Lilongwe, are more reliable than in Zomba district, in the south of the country. We are trying to make contact to Wim van den Bos (Oikonomos Malawi), board representative on behalf of the users (smallholder farmers), for about two months but all communications seem to fail. One of the project team members is having regular contact with Sander Donker, board representative on behalf of the supplier (Cheetah).

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Sander is really looking forward to our products and recommendations. He recently confirmed that Cheetah can handle much more tons of paprika’s than delivered during the previous season. He also hopes much more smallholder farmers will structurally decide to grow paprika as their cash crop. The growth-season in Malawi last from November to April. At the moment of writing harvesting will commmence. 

We hope to hear soon from both Cheetah and Oikonomos on the outcomes of the last season. Also if and to what extend paprika as a cash crop has been introduced succesfully to (new groups of) small farmers in Malawi.

Within the project team, one of the members has decided to leave the team for personal reasons. The four of us will finalize the project.

Gerard Adriaanse, Rob Jonkman, Henk Keizer and Gerard van Kilsdonk.