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Min dangles agri sector investment opportunities

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Lobin Lowe

Agriculture Minister Lobin Lowe on Tuesday reiterated Malawi’s call for foreign direct investment into the agriculture and other sectors of the economy, rating the environment as best for doing business.

He was virtually addressing delegates at the opening of the Malawi Agribusiness Deal Room under the African Green Revolution Forum—a continental programme seeking to showcase solutions and elevate pathways to food systems transformation and recovery.

The call augers well with dreams and aspirations embedded in Malawi 2063, a long term national economic development blueprint, one of whose pillars it to commercialise and industrialise the agriculture sector.

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Lowe said the government was working towards creating a conducive environment for doing business through, among other things, policy reviews.

He cited the enactment of the revised Control of Goods Act to tame adhoc export bans, review of seed and fertiliser regulations, harmonising Common Market for East and Southern Africa and other regional regulations to ease access to improved seed and fertilisers among reforms undertaken.

Lowe also pointed out streamlined registration process, rolling of the trade portal to ease access to information, involvement in special economic zones as well as road and railway network infrastructure development as key strides undertaken to create an enabling environment for doing business.

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“With over 80 percent of our people employed in agriculture, we have embarked on a business unusual drive for agribusiness,” he said.

Other incentives Lowe outlined include import duty and Value Added Tax (Vat)-free on importation of livestock meant for breading, and irrigation equipment, horticulture equipment for fishing industry and agriculture equipment used for farming.

The Alliance for Green Revolution in Africa (Agra) is supporting Deal Room, which is meant for catalysing investment into African agriculture.

Agra Regional Head of Southern Africa Dyborn Chibonga hailed the country for the strides taken towards the agriculture sector revitalisation.

“Malawi is open for business. It is undergoing policy reforms to make it attractive for doing business and has a youthful population. The government is also committed to ensuring that Malawi is a safe destination for investment,” Chibonga said.

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