Inosselia-Greenbelt KIA greenhouse: Training ground for farmers to revolutionalize horticulture in Malawi

Malawians employed to work at the greenhouse vegetable farm at Kamuzu International Airport (KIA) in Lilongwe, are building their professional capacities and acquiring high-technological skills of modern farm operations and management.

Michael Gorelik, Country Director for Inosselia Agro
A greenhouse at KIA, almost complete…
They are expected to share with scores of smallholder farmers in order to generate interest for large scale and more profitable horticultural farming in the country.
Michael Gorelik, the Country Director for Inosselia Agro–a global investment company with 51 percent shares in the greenhouse vegetable farm–has said, adding that a training centre is also being built at the farm to enable more local people and agricultural entrepreneurs acquire the skills.
Inosselia Agro has partnered with the Government of Malawi through Green Belt Authority in a Public Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement which has resulted in a joint venture agreement that is financing and now developing one of the biggest greenhouse vegetable farms in southern Africa, employing about 200 people–most of them being Malawians living around the airport.
According to Gorelik, Inosselia Agro brings into the partnership its intensive international experience and expertise in planning, funding, establishing, operating and managing exactly these types of high value-added agricultural enterprises.
He told Nyasa Times that the training of local employees, smallholder farmers and agricultural entrepreneurs is one of the many objectives of this enterprise and falls within the immediate benefits of the project to Malawi.
“Each individual will have a chance to upgrade themselves professionally from unskilled or semiskilled to skilled workers and this will give them a profession that they can continue upgrading themselves on the farm or work elsewhere with the skills obtained from the farm itself.
“The community around and the smallholder farmers will benefit from our consulting, our instructions and our systems on the farm. This will show other agricultural entrepreneurs in Malawi the types of technology and management practices that they can utilize in order to succeed in this sector,” said Gorelik.
The Country Director added that such beehive of capacity building, training activities and skills transfers demonstrate a strong corporate social responsibility which Inosselia Agro has and contributes to the success of the company’s partnership with government.
“Our intention is not just to get a fast profit and then leave. We are here for the long term; generating returns to Greenbelt and the Government, saving and generating foreign currency and bringing tax to the country. We want to associate ourselves with the country and assist it to develop,” he said.
As an example, Gorelik pointed to the fact that at this time of Covid-19 crisis, when most expatriates and foreigners have left Malawi to their home countries, all of the expatriate Inosselia professionals and directors have stayed here to push this project and others forward.
“Malawi is our home and home is where you come back to during difficult times,” according to him.
Gorelik highlighted that Public-Private Partnerships (PPP) of this kind are crucial to the economic development of Malawi.
And he emphasized that these arrangements require commitments from both the private investment company as well as all relevant government agencies.
He then commended the government of Malawi, the Ministry of Finance, Greenbelt Authority, as well as Malawi Revenue Authority, Malawi Investment and Trade Centre and Airport Development Limited for their tireless and ongoing assistance in fulfilling their obligations in the partnership, adding that if each party continues to stick to its roles, the project will really succeed above expectations.
According to Gorelik, Inosselia is currently exploring additional projects within this business model and that it can and should be a model and blueprint for other potential investors in other economic sectors in Malawi.

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EdgarR
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EdgarR

Modern and high yielding agricultural projects of this type also create spin-off investments and multiplier effects. Meaning that local and community level service providers will benefit from additional income and turnover.
So this is good news all around. We need many more.

Nok
Guest
Nok

This is good. Very good. I always like to hear good and optimistic news in the mornings.

Chancy
Guest
Chancy

N one (below) and his way of thinking is exactly the reason that Malawi is one of the most underdeveloped countries in the world. And the agriculture is so low-yielding and dependent on rainfall. High technology greenhouses, irrigation and food production is exaclty what progress and development is all about. All of the developing countries in the world (including our neighbor South Africa) began their economic development process by improving and upgrading the food manufacturing process. Thus bringing about food security and saving forex due to lower imports. The next phase will be agro industries and then industrial development itself.… Read more »

N one
Guest

‘Horticultural crops are more suitable for small and marginal farmers’. All over the ‘earth’. And the world.

N one
Guest

Easy. ‘A greenhouse at KIA almost complete……’ What is here? Greenhouses and vegetables is not progress!

Chancy
Guest
Chancy

Brilliant. This is just what this country needs. We have the climate. We have the soils and water. We have dedicated and hard working workers. We need technology, knowledge and management. This is exactly what this farm is all about. If this works out we can expect other investors to take a chance on Malawi and promote our economic growth

Matamando
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Matamando

Malawi is a landlocked country. Most consumer products and foodstuffs have to be imported. This takes time, resources and money. Our politicians and senior officials should concentrate on the production and manufacturing of basic consumer necessities including fresh producel, dairy, fruits and vegetables for which our country has advantages such as ample land, water, good climate and cheap workforce. Investing in technology and know how will increase production, yields and quality and enable to provide competetive products to the local market substitute imports from other countries and maybe even export. The project is a win-win enterprise that we should all… Read more »

Tendai N
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Tendai N

I have had a chance to hear Dr. Gorelik speak in a German GIZ presentation a few months ago. They have loads of experience and knowledge. Malawi ecperts and officials should take the time to look, listen and learn

Justine
Guest
Justine

Praise to the GoM and to Inosselia. This is just what our country needs. We need one hundred more of these projects and then maybe some progress will be made

Keneth Mzonde
Guest
Keneth Mzonde

This sounds very professional and exciting. Public Private Partnerships are the way to go. And Inosselia seems committed and obligated to Malawi. I just hope the government doesnt get greedy and disrupt this project.

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