The Malawi Confederation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (MCCCI) has commended government’s direction to bolster production of local goods and diversification of cash crops.
MCCCI President Mathews Chikankheni said full implementation of the plans on local production outlined by President Joyce Banda during her state of the nation address has potential to increase local job creation while satisfying regional demand thereby generating the much needed foreign exchange.
“The private sector is very ready to continue partnering with government on industrial reforms and because investments is such areas is the only way that will quicken Malawi’s economic recovery and more jobs will be created as we will aim to satisfy both the local and international markets as we provide options for more forex earning avenues,” said Chikankheni.
President Banda said one of her government’s significant achievements has been to intensify the production and diversification of cash crops that have a bearing on our exports.
She mentioned that the local industry will be reorganised with livestock sector positioned to promote dairy, meat and leather sub-sectors to encourage diversification out of agriculture into manufacturing and agro-processing and that investors have already engaged government to set up factories in dairy, meat, and cooking oil.
The President said government will in the next few months commission cotton ginneries in Chikwawa, Salima and Karonga districts.
She said Sunseed Oil Ltd is putting up a plant to process such crops as soya beans, sunflower, and groundnuts into edible oils and animal feed for both local and export markets.
“This will help Malawi save US$45 million in crude oil imports. Furthermore, the company projects that it will earn about US$52 million from the export of soya cake,” said Banda.
She said since the opening of the tobacco marketing season, farmers have been offered better prices on average than last year and that projections for other cash crops like cotton, tea, coffee, maize, rice and legumes have also increased this year.
“Mr. Speaker, Sir, last year, I launched the National Export Strategy (NES) (2013 – 2018) to boost exports, create employment and enhance revenues. The NES sets out a path to diversify into new export sectors, and crucially move from exporting raw commodities to value added goods.
“To do this, the NES has looked at those areas where Malawi has a natural competitive advantage, those industries with scope for value addition and crucially where there is strong and growing demand. Mr. Speaker, Sir, my Government has operationalized the all stakeholders Trade, Industry and Private Sector Development Working Group in order to facilitate and fast track the implementation and monitoring of the National Export Strategy,” Banda said.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :