Cama faults cooking oil makers

Mayeso Msokera

The Consumers Association of Malawi (Cama) Monday reiterated its concern over sky-rocketing prices of cooking oil in the country, faulting manufacturers for what it called blackmailing consumers.

The consumer rights advocacy group has since called on the government to consider suspending the issuing of import licences for crude oil to force the manufacturers to support local soya producers.

In a statement issued Monday, Cama says the country has more to gain if the oil industry supported local farmers.


“Malawian farmers produce a lot of soya, groundnuts and sunflower used in the production of edible cooking oils but throughout the years, farmers that grow these raw materials have failed to find markets for their produce because the local cooking oil refiners/producers opted to buy crude oil from their own countries of origin,” the statement reads.

However, Ministry of Trade said it has already taken steps to promote significant value-addition and processing of raw agriculture products.

Ministry of Trade spokesperson Mayeso Msokera said the government is upbeat that players in the industry would pursue the value addition agenda to support local producers.


“More value addition by the industry also entails that the government would continue to provide them with fiscal incentives such as the Industrial Rebate Scheme whereby imported raw materials would be imported without payment of duty.

“The government through the ministries of trade, industry and agriculture is also ready to collaborate with the industry in facilitating the establishment of productive alliances with oilseeds producer organisations/ farmers,” Msokera said.

Speaking in an interview, Sunseed Oil Limited Group Chief Executive Officer Sameer Ahmed, however said players in the industry always work with farmers.

“The big question one needs to ask is what is it that we are exporting; raw materials or value added products? If the government policies are going to let you export raw materials, then expect this country to import the same thing in semi-finished/finished formats,” Ahmed said.

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