Value addition is a common term that tends to be mentioned a lot by the government. Enhancing a product’s value, usually through some processing or manufacturing, is what is called value addition. Value addition and beneficiation are not necessarily interchangeable – though they refer to more or less the same thing. Beneficiation refers to enhancing a product’s value, usually through some processing or manufacturing, for natural resources, particularly in mining. Anyways, value addition increases the worth of a product which is good for getting more returns on investment. Zimbabwe still has room to cover regarding value addition as products are mostly sold and even exported in raw form. In this article, I will cite some practical examples of value addition in Zimbabwe.
Importance Of Value Addition – An Analogy
Let me start by emphasising the importance of value addition. A bar of iron can cost US$5. If that bar of iron is used to make horseshoes, its value becomes around US$12. If you use it to make needles, its value can become as much as US$3500. If the same iron bar is used to make balance springs for watches, its value can be as high as US$300000. This is what value addition is all about; when you make something out of what you produce you can unlock and realize more value.
So many people are into livestock production in Zimbabwe. Interestingly I have noticed that most people still use the simple business model of just selling the live animals or the meat. There is more money to be made in the value addition of livestock meat through making sausages. There are so many options when it comes to sausages. Broadly you can make sausages from pork, beef, and chickens; you can even explore other types of meat. It is really not that sophisticated to start a sausage-making business. For inspiration check out this article I did on Kudzai Masoka.
Fruit And Vegetable Juices, Blends And Smoothies
More and more people are becoming conscious about what they eat and drink. Fruits and vegetables are becoming a central part of most people’s diet. However, people no longer just want the same old raw fruits or vegetables. That is where fruit blends or juices come in. Smoothies have also become a sought after delicacy by wellness enthusiasts. The options here are limitless since literally any fruit (exotic or indigenous) can be turned into a blend, juice, or smoothie. I can refer you to check out an article about a Zimbabwean startup called Yanaya. They are into this line of business.
Syrups come in many different forms; it is basically a thick liquid usually used as a food topping. Some relatable examples are corn syrup, honey syrup, molasses (which can be used in baking and making sweets).
Food Pastes And Purees
Food pastes are essentially semi-liquid suspensions or emulsions that are either eaten or used in preparing food. Purees, on the other hand, are food pastes but only that they would have been made from cooked ingredients. An example of a food paste is tomato paste for use in food preparation. Pastes can be made from a variety of crops e.g. fruits, herbs, spices, vegetables, legumes, or nuts, amongst others.
This is an interesting area I feel is being slept on in Zimbabwe. There is a huge market for noodles; from individuals, homes, to students and so on. There is a long list of products from which noodles can be made. Some of the crops from which noodles can be made are squash, sweet potatoes, beets, cucumbers, carrots, pumpkins, and radishes. We need to see more and more various types of noodles being proudly made in Zimbabwe.
The process of pickling preserves food thus making its shelf life longer. Some of the foods that can be pickled are fruits, vegetables, eggs, meats, and dairy products. Pickles are prepared using different methods but the common one is fermentation. Pickles made through fermentation are highly beneficial to human health. Not only do they last long, even for months, but they have healthy bacteria called probiotics. Probiotics are especially beneficial to gastrointestinal health.
Did you know that globally, over 75 per cent of revenue realized from food is from processed foods? That must make you see the huge prospects that are in value addition. We need to move away from just selling or exporting stuff raw. Did you know that over 95 per cent of Zimbabwean grown tobacco is exported raw? That is a disturbing trend when you know that there can be more returns by leaning more on value addition. Value addition at times entails simple processes such as crushing, pressing, grinding and mixing. For instance, herbs and spices can be value-added just by crushing, grinding, and or mixing. Let us focus more on value addition!