Malawi Sugar Factory ready end of October: India for stronger partnership

The sugar factory completion date—projected to be end this month when President Peter Mutharika is also expected to attend the third edition of India-Africa Forum Summit (IAFS) from October 26 to 29—should stand as a microcosm of what Africa and, Malawi in particular, can benefit from a resurgent India through stronger economic and political cooperation.

Mutharika being shown the factory

Mutharika being shown the factory

The Salima factory

The Salima factory

“Malawi and India have been strong partners for decades in terms of trade, economic cooperation and culture. Our investments in agriculture through GBI and other areas of cooperation are an example of just how much we can achieve together.

“The IAFS will be a crucial forum for Malawi and India relations and we will be happy to host President Mutharika in this context,” said Shri Vanlalhuma, India’s High Commissioner to Malawi, in an interview when asked about his country’s largest diplomatic outreach and how important it is for the India-Malawi ties.

Already, right across the new factory’s main gate, a small, but booming market targeting project site workers is thriving, pointing to broadening multiplier effects of the investment.

The project is being financed with $33.64 million (over K18 billion) out of the $76.5 million (around K42 billion) Line of Credit (LoC) from the Government of India through its Export-Import  (Exim) Bank in 2012.

It is situated less than five kilometres off the Salima-Nkhotakota Road to the right of Chikwawa Trading Centre, about 20 kilometres from Salima police checkpoint.

Besides the sugar processing plant, the LoC package includes $16.36 million (K9 billion) for GBI irrigation equipment and $26.5 million (K15 billion) for the construction of fuel storage facilities under the National Oil Company of Malawi (Nocma).

“It [the sugar factory] is a self-sustaining project whose impact around the area will be huge because of the many products to be produced here. For example, once the sugar cane has been crushed, there is a power plant right here to turn the burgess into three megawatts of electricity. The molasses will then be used to produce ethanol and even animal feed,” said Mohammad Hussain, senior manager for project execution at Apollo International Limited, the firm supplying and installing the sugar processing plant.

According to Hussain, the sugar machinery at Chikwawa will have the capacity to crush between 1 250 and 1 650 metric tonnes of sugar cane per day.

For GBI coordinator Henry Njoloma, the benefits of the project are immense at both local level in Salima and macro level.

“An important feature of this sugar processing plant is that it will be a major source of employment and income, thus providing access to food and other necessities to a large population in Malawi. The scheme and the sugar factory will bring rural development to Khombedza area in line with GBI aspirations of rural industrialisation, leading to development of rural growth centres,” he said.

And considering GBI’s export drive, the factory will also bring in foreign currency through sugar and ethanol exports.

Given that sugar production in Malawi is currently monopolised by one company—Illovo Sugar (Malawi) Limited—the coming of the new factory should also bring competition in the industry.

Farmers too are the major beneficiaries.

So far, about 250 farming households from Salima will benefit by producing sugarcane on two hectares each.

In addition, about 1000 farming enterprises (medium-scale farmers) from across the country will benefit by producing sugar cane on 10 hectares each.

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Michael
Guest

Please make sure our president has a Hard hat too!!! Poor Safety Standards!

Benson Chaula
Guest

I just thank the at present government for following up the development taking place in Salima. I know that I myself & you who are not happy with the on ruling party that we are going to benefit from various activities

Tingo
Guest

why u didn’t invest before these Indians be positive in your life for the better success of yourself

Namuriwa
Guest
Stampycious, I can already analyze that your education is up to scratch if not JC. If you are working, you should be a labour cleaning the public toilets. A project has phases and one can inspect each phase as it develops depending on the needs.Who told you that Lhomwes are indiginant villagers who have no exposure to urbanization you fool! If your head is full of cotton like brain, then don’t comment what you don’t know of. Take note that you can be traced very easily through locating your equipment : tablet, notebook or cellphone from where you sent your… Read more »
Dominic
Guest

Yes, ngati inu mukulephera kukhazikitsa ma company ndiye mumati boma litani? Yambanitu yanu company.

You are good at begging and receiving handouts instead of working hard for your families. Zichedwani choncho ndi ndale zanuzo, mwaiwala kuti ndale sadya, anzanu akulemera momuno m’malawi.

Joseph Banda
Guest

No. 1 You are very DULL. one inspects a project in progress to find out if any problems. Mentality ya MCP basi

Kabilaboza Kabuka
Guest

Good news to people of salima

Stampycious
Guest

Apitala kujijirika building siinathe wapita kale kukayendera, zachilomwe, zachimizimizi

The real ujeni
Guest

DPP is finally finishing the country’s economy by selling it to Amwenye. How can a country develop when 90% of the companies are owned by Indians, Malawi is an Indian colony

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