Peanut butter is considered a staple food in Zimbabwe, adding nourishment and flavor to a variety of foods. The production of peanut butter is one way for women to generate income for themselves and their families through sales.
Peanut Butter Production in Zimbabwe Narrator: As the economic recession worsens in Zimbabwe, unemployment reaches record levels and factory closures are common in the place. There is never been a more oppressing need to find new ways of making money. The trick is to choose a product that’s in demand. Female: I often have peanut butter in my porridge. Interviewer: Why do you have peanut butter in your porridge? Female: Because it's nutritious and it's delicious. Female: I ate peanut butter for breakfast. Interviewer: Do you eat peanut butter for breakfast everyday? Female: Yes I do. Interviewer: Why is that? Female: Because it's cheap. It is cheap. Interviewer: And do you give it to your children? Female: Oh yes, I do because I have ground nuts which I have to make my own peanut butter using that my own -- Narrator: Peanut butter isn't new to Zimbabwe. For centuries, it's been made for a process of pounding and grinding and use from everything to spicing up a cup of tea to adding flavor to the local delicacy, caterpillar. Male: Oh, I can’t tell the taste. It is so good. If you just taste it, it's so good. Narrator: As the nation’s most popular spread, it's the perfect product for small enterprise especially now that pounding and grinding is out and pulping is in. So how do you make the perfect peanut butter? At Anna Donga’s, they did everything except grow for the nuts. Once she’s bought a bulk supply, it's a long process, sorting, roasting, cleaning, pulping and packaging. The biggest investment is the pulping machine, around $400.00 and the biggest question is whether you want a smooth or crunchy products. Once you decided, it's quite straightforward. You got one for crunchy texture and twice for smooth one. And Anna Donga’s venture began as a cooperative but there were problems with the worker’s of husbands who complain their wives for getting home too late. She decided to get a loan. The women who work with her are now friends. They give their time in exchange for grinding their own peanuts. And they not only sell processed peanut butter, she also hired out her milling machines. Male: That peanut butter, I really -- but I usually eat it with my porridge but I'm not -- not with bread. Narrator: But what do the women think of the peanut butter? Female: We usually buy peanut butter because it is good for breakfast, for lunch and supper. Interviewer: What is your dream? Anna Donga: My dream is to create a big company for peanut butter and to have a market in neighboring countries and if possible, overseas. Narrator: If you're not convinced, there is even a peanut butter song. Out of the 10 people asked, only one wasn’t a peanut butter fan. Female: I don’t like it. I don’t like it.