The local private sector is reportedly failing to meet the 20,000 tonnes monthly requirement of maize flour for the export market in South Sudan.
While confirming the development, President of the Malawi Confederation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (MCCCI) James Chimwaza said, currently, the country has capacity to produce only 6,000 tonnes a month.
In June this year, Malawi signed a deal worth over $150 million [about K120 billion] with South Sudan to supply that country with maize, maize flour, sugar, rice and ground nuts.
In return, Malawi will be importing petroleum and bitumen from South Sudan.
“There is that opportunity now and those who can produce the flour should do so but it has to be of quality and of a certain standard,” Chimwaza said.
Ministry of Trade spokesperson Mayeso Msokera said output is projected to grow as the country has had a bumper yield this season.
“We have got a lot of milling companies including those in the packaging industry. It is not complicated.
“At the moment, a dry run has been arranged on the northern corridor route that we expect the trucks to be using when exporting maize flour and other commodities to South Sudan,” Msokera said.
He said the process would help the country understand required export procedures and possible bottlenecks that need to be addressed.