Minister of Industry and Trade Joseph Mwananvekha has said for farmers to produce more and meet demand they need to be incentivised through better prices.
Speaking last week when the minister toured Export Trading Group (ETG) factory, producers of Toor Dal, maize flour, thobwa ready flour, soya pieces in Maone, Blantyre, Mwananvekha said farmers and not traders must benefit.
He, however, said he was impressed with ETG which is buying produce from farmers, add value and export some of the products to earn the country foreign exchange.
“I am also impressed because ETG has created employment of about 800 permanent employees which is expected to increase when the company expands its production capacity,” said Mwanamvekha, adding that ETG’s efforts complements the government under the National Export Strategy (NES).
He, however, bemoaned some companies that do not bring to Malawi their export earnings, pointing out that the ministry will work with the Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) and the Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) to curb the malpractice.
Speaking during the tour, ETG country director Mahesh Ghedia said it Is encouraging that the minister visited the company to appreciate their operations.
“We would like to encourage farmers to produce more because Malawi does not meet its export demand for some of the produce and products. We are planning to engage farmers on contract farming to ensure that more is produced,” he said.
ETG exports its products to a number of markets, including United States of America, Europe and the Far East.
Agriculture produce that ETG buys from farmers include black and green gram, sesame, soya, and pigeon peas. n