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MITC challenges small and medium enterprises on quality

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Fumbani Nyangulu

The Malawi Investment and Trade Centre (MITC) has challenged small and medium enterprises in the country to put extra effort in producing quality products so that they are easily accepted by consumers.

MITC Board Member Fumbani Nyangulu was speaking in Lilongwe Thursday at the start of a Mini SME Trade Fair jointly organised by MITC, Smedi and the African Development Bank.

The mini fair is being held under the theme ‘SMEs: Drivers of Industrialisation and Economic Growth’.

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Nyangulu said the fact that the country imports a lot of products from outside shows that Malawi has a ready market for quality products.

He said putting in an extra effort would help local products to substitute the imported commodities.

“This fair provides an opportunity to local producers to showcase what they make so that Malawians can appreciate the products that are available on the local scene.

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“The fair also provides a platform through which SMEs making similar products can corraborate so that they win big contracts,” Nyangulu said.

He observed that MITC has identified markets for local products, adding that satisfying the quantities demanded would require that local SMEs work together.

Small and Medium Enterprises Development Institute (Smedi) Chief Executive Officer Roderick Chattaika, said his institution is committed to helping the SMEs add value to their products so that they realise increased earnings from their products.

Chattaika said Smedi had incubation centres through which the SMEs could bring their products and add value to them so that they realise more money.

The SME Mini Fair has attracted over 30 SMEs producing various items.

SSS Investment Managing Director Salim Sakrani said the fair is very important as it will help his firm showcase a range of crisps.

According to Sakrani, time has come for Malawians to cut the huge import bill the country has by, among other things, substituting imported products with local ones.

“If you look into the market, you will see that most of the crisps being consumed are imported. We want to change that narrative so that Malawians can start enjoying local products.

“We have invested a lot in ensuring that the snacks are of international standard,” Sakrani said.

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