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Saulos Chilima hails cooperative on cooking oil production

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As cooking oil prices remain elevated, coupled with scarcity of the commodity, Vice- President Saulos Chilima has hailed a cooking oil making cooperative in Chitipa for its innovation.

The cooperative, Witimba Kaseghe, which has 110 members, produces about 2,000 litres of cooking oil per year.

However, due to financial resource constraints, the group only produces seasonally and, this year, about K4 million has been pumped in for procurement of sunflower.

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But speaking after inspecting the group’s pavilion which was mounted at Chitipa District council, Chilima said Witimba Kaseghe is a perfect example of groups ready to turn Malawi into a producing nation.

Chilima said prices of cooking oil would not even be a cause for worry, saying if more companies are producing, prices would eventually reduce.

“This is good news. We need to start producing. And what is happening here is in line with Malawi 2063 pillar 2 and 3. If we produce more, we cannot even be worried about forex in the country,” he said.

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He then committed to support the cooperative by engaging potential investors within and abroad.

Sales and marketing representative for the group, Cryston Kabaghe, said the idea behind the cooking oil production stemmed from the surge in prices of the commodity.

He said their product, Wikacop Cooking Oil, is selling at K5,500 which is affordable to the common Malawian.

“In 2020 we dangled about K7 million as dividends to members and K5 million in 2021,” she said.

Kabaghe said the cooperative started in 2003 and over the years been selling maize among other crops.

Latest figures from the group indicates that in 2020, the group collected 2,120 metric tonnes of maize which was sold at K39 million. In 2021 the group collected 4,050 metric tonnes of maize which was sold at K62 380,000.

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