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- A phane value addition initiative
Entrepreneur and Tutume native, Mosimanegape Lucas has introduced Shonja Snack, which provides convenience and access to easily edible Mophane worms, a natural resource that is a viable source of protein.
Shonja, is the Kalanga name for mophane worm (phane), and the Snack, first hit the market in December last year, and has to date received a warm welcome in Maun.
Motivated by the desire to prepare phane in a way different for the same old traditional way, Lucas opted to offer the market an alternative by packaging his favoured product as a convenient snack. This way, he was certain the six different flavours would present phane with a different taste that would fit well in the ever changing world of cuisines.
Traditionally, mophane worms are harvested, boiled and then dried, after which they are ready for the market.
Shonja Snack now occupies the same row with other snacks that include biltong, nuts and other dried fruits.
“We started off experimenting with the peri – peri flavor that we call habanero, then decided to try out more flavors including barbecue, lemon and herb, sweet and chili, chutney and mild spicy,” Lucas stated.
Lucas has revealed that he follows the traditional process of harvesting and boiling the worms, then adds value using the flavours before packaging into packets for sale. The family has a special machine they use for all the flavoring which gives the snack that unique flavored and taste.
Shonja snack is sold in 40 and 210 grams packets sold at P10 and P150 respectively per packet.
According to Lucals, while they initially did the harvesting themselves as a family, with the product now moving in the market, they will resort to buying from other Batswana who have phane in bulk.
He envisages Shonja snack penetrating the market to an extent where it reaches the shelves of big retailer shops both locally and internationally. For the reason that Maun is a tourism destination itself, Lucas wants the product to play a role in the food tourism space, and for the hospitality industry to introduce it in their menus. The product in its snack form is a perfect way to offer to tourists as they travel Botswana.
While Lucas, started selling the product to his customers at his ‘Delta Leisure Bar’ in Maun, response and feedback has been positive, to a point where they now get calls for orders and delivery.