Malawi President Joyce Banda has said she has struck a trade deal with Equatorial Guinea President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo which will see his country importing fresh foods from Malawi.
Speaking during a news conference at Sanjika Palace in Blantyre on Saturday after her arrival from the Equatorial Guinea, President Banda said the foods under the trade deal include tomatoes, cabbages fresh beans and soya beans.
She said she had made the decision after seeing that although Equatorial Guinea is now a rich country it is falling short of agricultural products.
“I told president Mbasogo that since you have already started showing love to us by insisting that we should come here, you should therefore assist Malawi by allowing us to be exporting foods to your country. And he said that there is no problem and that they ready to even buy tomato from us,” Banda said.
She said the move is a step forward towards the country’s effort in seeking other crops that can competitively bring much needed foreign exchange into the county.
Banda says it’s now up to Malawi to solve logistical problems and also see if it has the capacity to meet their demand.
“Once they say we will be coming every week to buy the foods do we have the capacity to supply them? And another problem which we have is that we don’t have direct aero planes that can carry our perishables direct to Equatorial Guinea.”
She however said despite these challenges it’s time for Malawians to start mobilizing horticulture farmers across the country and start supplying them with quality seeds that would produce quality foods to avoid losing already found market.
“We should now start visiting those tomato farmers at Jenda and other areas encouraging them start producing quality agricultural products. Definitely these people will need quality perishables from us because they can even go and buy them from South Africa which is near them but will be buying from us just because they want to assist us. So it’s for us to be supplying quality foods,” she said.
She also said president Mbasogo has asked the Malawi government to organize the centre at which they will be collecting the foods from and that Mbasogo has assured her that he will soon send the delegation to Malawi to finalize the trade deal.
Meanwhile, according to a communiqué which was read earlier on, the Malawi leader while in Malabo, met with her host Mbasago, as well as leaders and representatives from Brazil, Bolivia, Seychelles and Angola not to mention officials from Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
In all the meetings which were held on the sidelines of the 3day summit, the president took the opportunity to explore various areas of interest in order to woo investors.
President Banda also announced that in one of her meetings with her Brazilian opposite number, the two female presidents agreed to go into diplomatic camaraderie and according to the Malawi leader, Brazil would be opening its first ever Embassy in Lilongwe in six months time.
She said a Guinean delegation is also visiting Malawi next month and there are higher possibilities of Malawi exporting fresh foods to the coastal West African state.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :