By Chimwemwe Mangazi:
After penetrating the Indian and Dubai markets with fresh and dried mangoes, Malawi Mangoes has announced plans to penetrate the European market with its products.
This follows a €28 million (about K23 billion) project that the company is running under Farm Income Diversification Programme II with community in Salima District to increase production and offer income opportunities to the locals through Mango farming.
Under the project, the company has established 11 village orchards of four hectares each that are being managed by community members and are expected to produce 880 tonnes of mangoes a year once they start bearing fruits in two to three years time.
Malawi Mangoes Outreach Manager, Victor Mshani, said the expected output from the village orchards would be about 25 percent of the company’s raw mangoes requirement for production.
“When mangoes are grown in a confined place like these orchards. We have extension people on the ground who will be able to offer advice so the fruits should be better and this will allow us to produce more and penetrate more export markets. Currently, we are looking at exporting to London.
“On the other hand, we are giving an opportunity to community to earn a living because we are asking them to grow these mangoes and we are a ready market for them. At the current market price, the farmers should be able to make about K15 million from each orchard but we review the prices every year; so, by the time the trees are bearing fruits, they should be able to make more money,” Mshani said.
Chairperson of Msaza Horticulture Cooperative, Ruben Mkwezalamba said they are excited with the project as they would be able to make more money through selling in bulk as previously they were selling mangoes to the company at K80 per kilogramme.