Parliamentary Committee casts doubt over government’s commitment to establish fertilizer manufacturing company

A parliamentary committee has casted doubt over government’s commitment to establish a fertilizer manufacturing plant in the country.
Officials from the Parliamentary Committee on Agriculture have described minister of Agriculture Lobin Lowe’s statement that the government wants to establish a fertilizer making plant as a pipedream.

Minister of Agriculture, Lobi Lowe – (c) Abel Ikiloni, Mana
Chairperson of Parliamentary Committee on Agriculture Sameer Suleman said there is no corresponding action on the ground despite numerous utterances from authorities on the establishment of the fertilizer making plant
Suleman has blamed the delay on lack of political will.
Ministry of Agriculture spokesperson Gracian Lungu said there is no update beyond setting up of a multi-sectoral committee for feasibility study.

Lowe is on record to have said in April last year the country would have a modern fertiliser manufacturing plant by December, 2023.

Former president Peter Mutharika during his London tour had 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  Akbar Asifis, to bring to Malawi a fertiliser manufacturing plant.
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.
SFFRFM former chief executive officer (now retired) Dr Andy Kalinde had said the plant  would be up and running by 2022, adding three international organisations were ready to partner the parastatal.
Lowe had said the Vice President Dr. Saulos Chilima  approved the development in the reform report he submitted.
Lowe said the plant  would also help in creating more jobs for our youth.
Malawi imports about 200 000 metric tonnes of fertiliser every year, according to figures from the Ministry of Agriculture.

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