Value addition means adding value to a raw product by taking it to the next stage of production. Farmers can get increased brand identification, improved customer loyalty, better prices and obviously improved cash inflow through this process of value addition that transforms the raw agricultural products into something new by means of:
- Packaging – this is a simple process that ensures that farm products are all covered up and wrapped up for example packaged peanuts or roasted peanuts. Packets are usually made to come in different sizes, forms or shapes to suit wide range of customer tastes and preferences. Farmers can then be able to charge extra for the packaging material that they use to make the products appealing and to improve portability.
- Processing – this involves the processes of modifying, altering, mixing, cooking, frying, roasting, sterilizing farm products to give them set of new physical, mechanical and bio-chemical properties. The most common one that many people can relate to being potato crisps, potato flour and fries processed from potatoes. Other processed products are fresh milk, cheese, yoghurt and ice cream which are made from milk.
- Cooling – this involves keeping the temperature of farm products at a low or minimum in order to extend their shelf life. Cooling not only reduces the potential for spoiling due to bacterial growth but also reduces humidity levels for some products and also maintaining their freshness. Better freshness translates to better prices and more income.
- Drying – a post-system in which products are rapidly dried until they reach safe moisture levels. The aim of this is to lower the moisture content in order to guarantee conditions favorable for storage or for further processing such as dried fruits and vegetables.
- Extracting – rather than just selling farm products as they are, farmers can go one step further to extract components which are more valuable on the market from a particular product. Examples include cooking oil from sunflowers or juice from citrus fruits such as oranges, mangoes and lemons.