The Malawi Investment and Trade Centre (Mitc) says return of the commercial side of the Agricultural Development and Marketing Corporation (Admarc) on the market would address the export gap.
Mitc Chief Executive Officer, Clement Kumbemba, said this when Mitc met local exporters during a B2B meeting at Comesa Hall in Blantyre.
“There are few companies that are taking up the space and we need more Malawians to take up the export business. As Mitc, we have come back with huge orders from various countries within Africa and beyond, but not much is done to export against the huge orders that we get,” Kumbemba said.
He said as Mitc, their desire is to see the commercial side of Admarc back on the market to mop out all products from farmers and help to improve prices.
“When farmers get poor prices, the challenge is that they may not be able to grow again next year, hence the need for more competition,” he said.
Kumbemba further said the other challenge Malawi faces—in not meeting export quantities—is that commodities in most cases are produced in low volumes.
He said there is need to have more companies that will encourage farmers to go into irrigation and complement government’s efforts in the Green-Belt Project.
“Most importers we, as Mitc, have met, have complained that local exporters fail to sustain market orders,” Kumbemba said.
One of the exporters, Patrick Maseko of Lennie Enterprises, said many factors contribute to failure by exporters to meet demand.
Maseko said there is an issue of information dissemination, which is not well coordinated by Mitc and also the issue of prices.
“When importers are looking for commodities, they go round the world and not only here in Malawi. The issue is that most exporters overprice their produce, hence the importer would buy elsewhere,” Maseko said.