President Arthur Peter Mutharika has reiterated his steady vision to industrialize Malawi and transform it into a predominantly exporting nation in the near future.
He was speaking on Monday in Balaka when he officially inaugurated Balaka Cotton Ginnery.
“The opening of this ADMARC Cotton Ginning factory is a symbolic return to Malawi’s path to industrialisation. There was a time we were closing down factories; closing industries; closing exports; closing jobs.
“ This is a time we are building factories, opening industries, creating exports, creating jobs. This is the time to make Malawi a producing and exporting nation,” said President Mutharika.
He added: “We will transform this country with investment and industries. For that is how we create jobs, create wealth, create products, and make Malawi a producing and exporting nation”.
Mutharika emphasized on value addition as key to the economy at any stage of the industrialization drive.
“We are adding value to our cotton through ginning, yarn manufacturing, weaving, producing cotton
textiles, and producing oil and animal feed within the country. I want us to export products, and never export jobs”.
The President reminded Malawians that the cotton industry must be revived at all costs because it was once a thriving venture even before colonialists came to Malawi, then Nyasaland.
“Cotton has always played a critical role in the economy of the country. We are now developing this cotton industry. Today, cotton is one of the most important cash crops in Malawi. It ranks fourth as a
foreign exchange earner for the country after Tobacco, Tea and Sugar. And we want to upgrade the position of cotton” he said.
President Mutharika warned cotton buyers to treat farmers well and further asked the newly-formed Cotton Council of Malawi to regulate the prices of cotton so that farmers earn a decent living from their sweat.
“We all know that cotton production is an extremely hard job. We cannot continue to exploit our hard working farmers. Any exploitation of our farmers must stop at once. If we catch you, I’m sorry! We will deal with you unsparingly according to the law! Everyone must earn what they deserve. Our farmers must earn what they deserve. And you, as an investor, you must earn what you deserve, but not by exploiting others,” said the Malawi leader.
The ginnery- which is one of the three in the country- will offer employment directly to around 3000 people and indirectly to many more from within Balaka and the whole Eastern Region. Other ginneries are located at Ngabu in Chikwawa and Ngara in Karonga.
The Balaka ginnery – which services some 150,000 farmers- has been constructed to the tune of K5 billion and will produce 200 metric tonnes everyday.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :