By Chimwemwe Mangazi:
Expectations are high that the country would save foreign exchange through export substitution, following the arrival of machines from India to boost value addition in fruits, vegetables and precious stones.
The Indian government under the Business Incubation Centre Project, pegged at $3 million, recently committed to donate machines for value addition.
On Thursday, Minister of Industry, Trade and Tourism, Henry Mussa, toured Small and Medium Enterprises Development Institute (Smedi) Training Centre at Mponela in Dowa District where some of the machines are being assembled.
Mussa said the machines are expected to be up and running before the end of this year.
“I would love if these machines start working as soon as possible and I am told they might finish assembling them by the end of next month.Advertisement
“This is what we have been hoping for and, once we start value-adding, we will save on foreign exchange,” Mussa said.
India’s High Commissioner to Malawi, Suresh Kumar Mennon, said his government is committed to seeing Malawi being transformed from a predominantly importing nation to an exporting one.
Mennon, however, indicated that India would not be providing markets for Malawi once the products are ready, saying there is a huge market in the country for such products.
“You have the Buy Malawi Strategy going on at the moment that will help in the marketing of products that will be produced from here and India will not be the market for these products because there is already a huge market for the juices here in Malawi,” Mennon said.
Once the factory is up and running, the place is expected to be a hub for value added products such as tomato, tangerine and mango juice, among others.