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How to start a peanut butter manufacturing business in Zimbabwe
Publish:2015-12-01 By Menard Mutingwende
Zimbabweans love peanut butter.  Peanut butter in Zimbabwe is added to food like rice, relish, vegetables, bread and porridge. There is a high demand for peanut butter in Zimbabwe. This article will explain how to start a peanut butter manufacturing business in Zimbabwe. You should always carry out a feasibility study, market research and write a business plan before you venture into any business. Do not make the mistake of starting a peanut butter manufacturing business or any other business just because someone is doing it and he/she says it’s profitable. The purpose of this article is just to give you the basics of what you need to start a peanut butter manufacturing business in Zimbabwe. You should carry out your own research before you venture into this business.
What you need
1.Peanut Butter Production line(500kg/h)
Number Item Power(KW) Dimension(mm) Quantity Note
1 Roaster Machine 118 4700*2900*1650 1  
2 Conveyor Belt 0.75 5000*500*900 1  
3 Cooling Belt 8.1 10000*1200*1600 1 Minupressure
4 Peeling Machine 1.5 1000x1000x1400 1  
5 Peel and kernel Separator 3 1800x1000x1500 1  
6 Conveying Belt(selector) 0.75 6000*700*1000 1  
7 Elevator 0.75 1000*500*3400 1  
8 Storing and Feeding Machine 0.55 1100*1100*2400 1  
9 Grinding Machine 11x4 900*350*900 4 Stainless Steel
10 Table   2300x2000x600 1  
11 Storing Tank   500L 1  
12 Pump 1.5 1000*300*350 1  
13 Mixing Tank 4 800L 1 Interlayer Cooling
14 Vacuum Tank 6.2 800L 1 Include vacuum pump,Buffer Tank
15 Pump 2.2 1100*350*350 1  
16 Storing Tank 3 800L 1 With Mixing
17 Control Cabinet     2  
18 Pipeline        

2.Premises, Licencing and Labour
If you are producing peanut butter for your business at a large scale, you will have to find industrial premises for your peanut butter plant. The premises should have electricity supply since the peanut butter milling machines use electricity (though some machines are manually operated). You also have to get a business licence from the city council. The process of applying for the licence include first paying the administration fee at the city council offices, advertising your business in the daily newspaper, after which a health inspection team will come and take a look at your premises, and then you will be given a trading permit. If you operate without a licence, you will have a lot of trouble with the city council authorities, which will negatively affect your business.
You will need employees who will purchase the groundnuts, roast the groundnuts, operate the peanut butter milling machine, pack the peanut butter, and market your product. The number of employees you need will depend on the size of your business. Please note that you should train your employees so that they roast properly the groundnuts, process the peanut butter till it is smooth enough, and use the peanut butter milling machine properly.
This will be one of the factors which will determine the profitability of your peanut butter business. Are you able to get affordable groundnuts? Where are you planning to get your groundnuts from? Do they have good quality? You need big groundnuts in order to make good quality peanut butter. You can get the shelled groundnuts from market places like Mbare Musika in Harare. If you are going to make peanut butter at a large scale in Zimbabwe, it will be better for you to buy your groundnuts directly from the farmers, so that you increase the profitability by removing the middle man. Buying groundnuts from market places like Mbare Musika is more expensive, and will reduce your profitability.
Major local sources of groundnuts in Zimbabwe are Murehwa, Mutoko and Buhera. So you can make arrangements with farmers to buy the groundnuts in bulky. It is also cheaper buying groundnuts from the rural areas using barter trade. You can have agents who will go to the rural areas with stuff like uniforms, shoes, groceries, clothes, and stationery to exchange with groundnuts. The groundnuts you buy can be shelled or unshelled. If you buy unshelled ones, you will have to shell them using a groundnut sheller.
Groundnuts are seasonal, and their prices fluctuates throughout the year, as the price is determined by supply and demand. In Zimbabwe, groundnuts will be in high supply after the harvesting period, between May and August, and the prices will range from $0.5 to $0.8 per litre/Kg of shelled ground nuts, which is from $10-$16 per 20litres/Kgs. From September to April, the groundnuts will be in low supply and high demand, thus the prices will increase and will range from $0.80 to $1.25 per  litre/KG of shelled ground nuts, which is between $16-$25 per 20 litres/Kg. At market places like Mbare Musika, they use 20 litre buckets to sell the groundnuts, and it is roughly equal to 20Kg. Each 20 litres of shelled groundnuts will produce 28 to 34 bottles (375ml) of peanut butter, depending on the quality of the groundnuts.
Groundnuts in Zimbabwe can also be purchased from companies which import them from Zambia and Malawi. The prices are from $700 to $800 per tonne, though the prices will also vary throughout the year, depending on supply and demand. Imported groundnuts are usually of lower quality, and this is also reflected in the price which is cheaper than local groundnuts.
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