Minister of Agriculture Lobin Lowe has said the country will have a modern fertiliser manufacturing plant by December, 2023.
Former president Peter Mutharika during his London last year struck an agricultural investment deal when he held talks with a team of investors, led by member of the Board for Innoselia Commercial Limited, Nir Gess and British Marine Limited chairman (Non-Executive), Akbar Asifis, to bring to Malawi a fertiliser manufacturing plant.
But there has been inaction on the investment.
About a decade or so ago, a Taiwanese firm wanted to set up a similar plant, but the plans were abandoned after Malawi Government switched diplomatic ties from Taiwan to People’s Republic of China in 2007.
In 2018 Smallholder Farmers Fertiliser Revolving Fund of Malawi (SFFRFM) unveiled plans to set up a fertiliser manufacturing plant in Blantyre as part of its five-year strategic plan.
The company’s chief executive officer Andy Kalinde said the plant will help to reduce the price of fertiliser on the market and that the fertiliser plant is expected to be up and running by 2022, disclosing that three international organisations were ready to partner the parastatal.
Meanwhile, Minister Lowe said his ministry has been engaging with the SFFRFM officials as well as other stakeholders to make sure that the dream comes true.
“We have been engaging SFFRFM and other stakeholders that at all cost, by 2023, a fertilizer plant should be established here,” said Lowe in a statement he posted on Facebook.
He then disclosed that the Vice President Dr. Saulos Chilima also approved the development in the reform report he submitted on Tuesday.
“We have given ourselves up to December 2023 to make sure that the first bag of fertilizer is manufactured at this plant,” he added.
Lowe said the plant will not only help in making available stocks of fertilizers that match the soil map requirements throughout the country at an affordable price but also will help in creating more jobs for our youth.
“In having imports substitute, we are again expecting to reduce the panic Reserve Bank experiences year in year out in allocating more forex to the purchase of these fertilizers abroad,” he further explained.
Malawi imports about 200 000 metric tonnes of fertiliser every year, according to figures from the Ministry of Agriculture.
The plant will help to reduce the price of fertiliser on the market.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :