Uncle Harvest on PROSPECTS TO EXPORT MAIZE

Isn't this time that Malawi seriously took to value addition of it's agricultural products for export purposes?

The 140.2 billion Malawi Kwacha Affordable Inputs Programme and the blessings of good rains promise Malawi a surplus of maize harvest in the 2020-2021 season.

In the light of this prospect, the Minister of Agriculture, Hon Lobin Lowe MP has indicated that Malawi plans to export 1 million tonnes surplus maize.

This is good news as exported maize prices would bring in the much needed foreign exchange.

Caution will need to be exercised to ascertain that the Strategic Grain Reserve is sufficiently stocked before maize exports take place.

A few years ago, during the reign of late President Bingu wa Mutharika, the country had a similar maize surplus. Most of the maize was exported to Zimbabwe.

Upon arrival in Zimbabwe the Grain Milling Board processed the maize into flour.

The flour was packaged without any reference on it's packages that this flour was made from Malawi maize.

A similar thing happens with Malawi tea, sugar and macademia nuts exports.

These exports are sent into Europe and the Americas in unlabelled packages. They are then package without any reference to country of origin, Malawi.

Isn't this time that Malawi seriously took to value addition of it's agricultural products for export purposes?

There used to be a company based at Chitipi in Lilongwe that bought and roasted Malawian groundnuts, and exported them to South Africa.

There, the roast grounds were processed into peanut butter. The butter would then be exported to Malawi.

The question that begs a serious answer therefore, remains," Why doesn't Malawi value add it's agricultural products rather than export them raw?"

This is an area of serious Mindset Change. Forty two years is too long a period to wait.

With resolve, hard worker and consistency Malawi can attain the goals of Vision 2063 earlier than envisioned.

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