Government in 100,000mt soybeans exportation deal


By Patience Lunda:

The Government of Malawi has started negotiating a soybean export deal with Tanzania.

If discussions yield positive results, Malawi will start exporting at least 100,000 metric tonnes of soybean to the neighboring country yearly.


The Ministry of Trade says, once everything is ironed out, it will start mobilising potential producers and cooperatives which, after being screened, will be given the greenlight to start supplying the product.

Ministry spokesperson Mayeso Msokera said they are working with the Ministry of Agriculture and the Malawi Investment and Trade Centre to seal the deal.

Msokera, however, decried unlawful buying of soybean by unscrupulous traders while the crop is still in the field, warning that this is punishable by law.


“Soybean has been performing well for the past three years, in terms of export performance, and is one of the value chains offering strong potential for Malawi’s export diversification from traditional exports, hence the ministry would like to continue negotiating [with other countries] on more export market [deals] for the crop,” he said.

Meanwhile, Farmers Union of Malawi Chief Executive Officer Jacob Nyirongo has hailed the government for initiating the move, saying the country has, for a long time, been exporting agricultural commodities that have contributed very little to its balance of payment as primary commodities tend to be of low value on the market.

Nyirongo said this has led to economic stagnation due to limited structural transformation of the Malawi economy.

“One hundred thousand metric tonnes of soybean represent about 35 percent of Malawi’s annual soybean production and if this is locally processed into soymilk, livestock feed and other products for human nutrition, it will generate positive multiplier effects in the economy and get better value if the processed products are exported.

“Malawi 2063 [vision] is developed on the premise that agriculture production and productivity will drive local industry and, therefore, government and private sector efforts must be directed towards achieving this goal,” Nyirongo said.

Malawi exported 157,684 metric tonnes of soya beans valued at K82.9 billion to countries including China in the 2021-22 financial year, according to the Malawi Government Annual Economic Report of 2022.

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