President Dr. Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera on Monday commissioned state-of-the-art Pyxus Groundnuts Processing Factory at Kanengo Industrial Area in Lilongwe.
Pyxus Agriculture Limited has invested over US$3 million (approximately K2.4 billion) in setting up the processing plant.
In his remarks, Chakwera commended the establishment of the factory, describing it as the right direction towards industrialization.
He said his government is so committed to supporting the private sector to move in the similar direction by removing the political, legislative, and administrative roadblocks that may stand in their way, in order to ensure that the full potential of agri-business is realized and maximized.
“One practical way of rendering that support will be through the intervention of my Presidential Delivery Unit. Over the past two quarters, my PDU has been removing hundreds of bottlenecks that were either blocking or delaying government projects. This quarter, I will be adding Private Sector investments to the portfolio of the PDU to remove roadblocks to private enterprise,” said Chakwera.
“Another form of support to private enterprise I am happy to announce today is the formation of a Private Sector Council to be interacting with me directly on a quarterly basis. This council comprises representatives of various key sectors and will be giving me feedback on the progress and challenges in the private Sector,” he added.
In his remarks , Pyxus Agriculture Limited Managing Director, Ronald Ngwira, said he was happy with the commissioning of this groundnut processing factory.
Ngwira thanked the manufacturers of the equipment from the United States for delivering precision technology, which he said will be a game changer.
Ngwira revealed plans of setting a target to double the groundnut production from current levels of 430 metric tonnes to one million in five years.
Pyxus currently has contracted about 7,000 farmers to supply produce for value addition, with potential of increasing to 30,000 in the next few years, that will create about 2,000 direct jobs.
Pyxus is a sister company of Alliance One Tobacco, which focuses on value addition to agricultural products particularly legumes such as groundnuts and Soya beans among others.
The Pyxus groundnut processing plant is the biggest one outside South Africa, with a processing capacity of up to 50,000 metric tons of groundnuts per working day. Groundnuts will be processed into various value added products such as peanuts, oil, flour, fiber and peanut butter.
Waste shells will be used to produce charcoal briquettes. In the 21/22 season Pyxus has contracted about 6,800 farmers and it is believed that the company will create 1,940 jobs and increase income for over 30,000 farmers. Presently, Pyxus is shelling groundnuts for seed only. Additionally, Pyxus sells fertilizer, onions and other legumes at affordable prices.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :