Malawi’s President Joyce Banda on Tuesday toured the impoverished Landinyu village in Traditional Authority Chimombo in Nsanje district where she visited a project under Mudzi Transformation Trust before inaugurating the Agricultural Development and Marketing Corporation’s (Admarc) Ngabu Ginnery in the southern district of Chikhwawa which will ensure and provide readily available market to cotton smallholder cotton growers in the district.
President Banda said the ginnery will stimulate and enhance cotton production and increase smallholders’ incomes.
“As you are all aware, growing and exporting raw cotton would not be of much benefit to this economy because value-addition will accrue to cotton importing economies. Therefore the establishment of ADMARC Ngabu Ginnery provides the opportunity for us to fill the gap in the cotton value-chain through ginning so that other entrepreneurs can invest in spinning, weaving and apparels.
“I believe that cotton has the potential to transform this country within a short time in the light of its multifaceted nature where everything can be utilized and transformed; the lint can be used for textiles and clothing while the seeds can be used for edible oil and animal feed production,” she said.
She observed that most of the industrialized countries started their industrialization process by processing cotton into textiles and clothing for both the local and export markets.
The number of smallholder cotton growers countrywide has increased to about 400,000 in 2012/13 season from 150,000 five years ago. Likewise, cotton production has also increased to 100,000 metric tonnes from 40,000 metric tonnes during the same period.
“This means that the rural farmers have increased their income and employment opportunities which are part of my government’s economic recovery plans,” she said.
According to the Board Chairperson for ADMARC, Dr. Grace Malindi, Ngabu Ginnery alone has potential of generating a maximum of 20 Million USD in foreign exchange per annum and offer employment to 110 people.
She said about $60 million is what the Ngabu Ginnery together with the other two in Balaka and Karonga can altogether generate per annum while creating 300 working shifts.
Malindi also said not less than 70, 000 farmers in Shire Valley will benefit from the establishment of the new Ngabu Ginnery.