Japanese Ambassador Shuichiro Nishioka says Malawi has one of the best quality rice in the world and there is need to produce it in huge amounts because it can be easily exported.
Speaking in an interview during the celebration of the 80th birthday of His Majesty Emperor Akihito of Japan in Lilongwe, Nishioka said Malawi has some of the best rice in the world and can be easily marketed outside the country.
“If I was asked to offer advice on what crop that can do well apart from tobacco, I would say that Malawi rice is very good. What is needed is just to increase production and then markets can be found outside. When a product is of high quality it is easy to sell it to the outside world,” said Nishioka.
Nishioka’s sentiments come at a time Malawi is setting up one of the biggest rice milling factories in southern Africa courtesy of Ntalimanja Holdings.
Ntalimanja Holdings managing director David Kamchacha is on record having said that they have already secured markets for Malawi rice in Zambia, Zimbabwe, South Africa and other European Countries.
The Ntalimanja Rice Milling Factory which is at Mpamantha in Nkhotakota is going to be fully operational mid next year.
According to Kamchacha, about 7 000 farmers are already on site and the company started buying irrigated rice a couple of months ago.
On Japanese interest in mining of rare earth, Nishioka said his country will only do the mining of the commodity if it is found in large quantities.
“We are looking at rare earth minerals and if they can be found in large quantities then we will be interested to mine,” said Nishioka.
The ambassador also disclosed that Japan will be looking to bolster trade and investment between the two countries because trade is indispensable to the Malawi economic growth.
“With regard to the future cooperation, we wish to prioritise support to Malawi’s development in a bid to assist Malawi attract more investors,” he said.