Jimmy and Chimwemwe have been married since 1997. Jimmy has a part time job with the Ministry of Health and Cooperation, runs a small kiosk with his wife and farms.
Through networking with other communities they learnt of companies that purchases baobab from rural communities and further processes it into a raw ingredient for resale. After receiving training on sustainable harvesting, processing and storage of baobab, the Phiris started collecting baobab from a communally owned woodlot together with some other local families. Chimwemwe is responsible for the cracking the baobab pods and packing of the fruit. Often the Phiri family hire and train people who help with the collection and processing of the fruit to meet the increasing demand for baobab. When they started they were more men than women. Now there are more women than men involved in their baobab group. The reason is that some men went back to fishing because fishing is considered non seasonal activity.
Jimmy and Chimwemwes’ lives have greatly improved because the money from baobab is solving some of their financial problems. The couple sells an average of 2000kg of baobab pulp per season. Since Jimmy and Chimwemwe started working in 2006, there has been great improvement in the family’s diet; they can now afford a variety of healthy foodstuffs. Baobab incomes have helped them assist their parents with remittances, clothes and school fees for their two boys. Baobab incomes have also significantly helped the Phiri family to stock their kiosk and grow their business.