Coffee growers in the country have every reason to smile as Mzuzu Coffee Planters Cooperative Union Limited has committed to purchasing large volumes of the commodity from smallholder farmers in Malawi.
The union’s board chairperson Rodgers Kuyokwa and acting Chief Executive Officer Mackson Ng’ambi made the commitment when the Minister of Industry, Roy Kachale Banda, inspected the construction of the growers pay financing facility from Export Development Fund (EDF), which the institution secured with support from the ministry.
Kuyokwa and Ng’ambi told the minister that the current situation has motivated many coffee growers, who recently threatened to stop selling their coffee to the union, to change their mind and have assured that they will sell this year’s harvest to the union.
They further disclosed that an automated factory shell, which is under construction at the head office, will be completed by end of this August.
The factory will help in adding value to the Coffee which will be sold at the local and regional markets.
EDF Structured Trade Corporate Finance Specialist Marvin Mbaso said EDF is satisfied with the union’s performance under the financing facility and that EDF is ready to offer more support in the area of inputs and growers pay arrears.
The union was at the verge of closing down its operations due to huge debts and growers apathy to supply coffee to the union.
But the situation is now improving after securing K350 million financing facility from EDF, which was used to pay the growers last agricultural season.
In his remarks after meeting the institution’s board members at the Union’s head office in Mzuzu, Kachale Banda expressed satisfaction with the implementation of the facility.
The minister said he is happy that coffee growers under the union are now able to get their money within two weeks after delivery of the commodity.
“As government, what we want is to see growers getting paid promptly upon delivery of their Coffee to the Union and this is what is happening now, this is impressive,” said Kachale.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :