Malawi exported 157,684 metric tonnes (mt) of soya beans valued at K82.9 billion to countries including China in the 2021-22 financial year, the Malawi Government Annual Economic Report for 2022 has shown.
The economic report, produced by the Treasury as part of budget documents, says the strong soya exports have demonstrated the potential the crop has in complementing the country’s major forex earner tobacco.
Treasury says in the 2022-23 financial year, the government will continue to facilitate trade for potential exporters in order to increase soya exports.
The Annual Economic Report further says the Malawi Government, through the Ministry of Trade, signed an agreement with the Republic of South Sudan to jointly explore opportunities to promote trade and investments between the two countries.
Under the pact, Malawi would export products such as maize, maize flour, sugar, rice, groundnuts and beans worth $295 million. Out of this total, $168 million worth of maize, beans and rice was struck in an additional deal on the sidelines of the Intra-African Trade Fair in Durban, South Africa in 2021.
“So far, Malawi has exported 50 fully loaded 30tonne trucks containing maize flour (1,500mt), Rice (557mt) worth $1.4 million to South Sudan on 28th September 2021,” the report says.
According to Treasury, Malawi also signed an agreement with the government of India to export 50,000mt of pigeon peas annually for five years with an annual review.
It says, so far, Malawi has exported 23,060mt of pigeon peas to India, representing 46 percent of total quota granted.
Speaking in an interview recently, Malawi Investment and Trade Centre Board Chairperson Karl Chokhotho underscored the need for Malawian farmers to work in groups to satisfy the growing demand for local products including soya, pegion peas and other crops.
According to the report, Malawi has experienced an increase in regional trade with the neighboring countries and beyond.
It says, at the Intra Africa Trade Fair (IAFT) 2021 which took place in Durban, South Africa in 2021, the country recorded $418.6 million worth of export inquiries to the regional markets particularly South Africa, Botswana, Angola, and Cote D’Ivoire for maize, chillies, beans and rice, amongst others.
“Beside the IATF 2021 deals, Malawi also proposed an establishment of a bilateral agreement with the Democratic Republic of Congo to export various products including poultry products,” the report says.
Last year, Grain Traders Association of Malawi Chairperson Grace Mijiga- Mhango said there were strong signs that demand for soya could keep rising.
“We have data which confirm that demand for soya will forever grow because, in Malawi and across the globe, usage of soya into different products in growing every day,” she said.