Mzuzu Coffee Planters Cooperative Union says it would soon establish more cooperative unions for coffee farmers in some districts in central and southern regions to boost coffee growing in the country.
Mzuzu Coffee Chief Executive Officer, Harrison Kalua disclosed during a news conference of the union’s diversification plans that the initiative is aimed at increasing production of the crop for export market.
“Coffee has the potential to bring more foreign exchange into the country if production is increased and fully supported,” he said .
Currently, Malawi produces five per cent of coffee on the world market. The crop is the country’s fourth largest export after tobacco, cotton and tea.
“Coffee is different from tobacco that can be grown in almost all areas of the country. It [Coffee] is a unique crop that is grown in specific areas. So, what we want to do is to ensure that every land that is available for cultivation of coffee should be utilized,” Kalua said.
In this vein, Kalua said Mzuzu Coffee would set up more cooperative unions in Ntchisi and Ntcheu districts in the central region and some districts in southern region.
“We want to encourage the production of coffee in this country. Although this is a responsibility of government, we have taken up the initiative because we have passion to increase the production and consumption of coffee,” he said.
Kalua, however, said Mzuzu Coffee will only facilitate the establishment of the proposed cooperative unions for central and southern region. He added that the new cooperative unions will be free to decide on whether to come up with their own brand name.
He further disclosed that the establishment of Mzuzu Coffee dens last June in Mzuzu has increased the popularity of Mzuzu Coffee across the country. He said there is increased demand for more coffee dens in other cities and major towns such as Mangochi, Zomba and Blantyre.
“Meanwhile, we have intentions to start training entrepreneurs in coffee processing and making,” he said.
Currently, Mzuzu Coffee is in charge of six cooperative unions in the northern region with majority of its members drawn from the region .Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :