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Sudan exports flop annoys Parliament

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The Parliamentary Committee on Trade Tuesday took to task Malawi Bureau of Standards (MBS) and Export Development Fund (EDF) over the importation of substandard flour, maize and rice to Sudan.

The committee engaged the two institutions to establish, among others, the capacity MBS has in handling goods and products to assess quantity and quality through measurement and test procedures.

According to chairperson Simplex Chithyola, the committee is disappointed to hear that the flour that was sent to Sudan was of poor quality and it did not meet required standards of quality of importation.

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“There is a need for review of the export law to empower the Malawi Bureau of Standards to conduct mandatory tests on export products, because it is shameful for the country to import substandard goods,” Chithyola said.

Acting Director General for MBS Rex Moyo was quick to say that the bureau is expected to improve on quality of service delivery because it will be relocating to its newly constructed complex which has high-tech laboratory equipment that will be used to conduct various tests.

“There is a need to review the export law which will empower MBS to conduct mandatory tests on local exports unlike the case now where the tests are done voluntarily,” Moyo said.

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The committee also faulted EDF for failing to follow up on the deal

But chairperson for the fund Niel Nyirongo said the delay to transport the commodities led to loss of quality.

“The transporters faced a lot of challenges in most various border posts and, in the process, the quality of the products lost quality,” Nyirongo said.

The contract saw the local private sector supplying 180,000 metric tonnes (MT) of maize flour, 10,000 MT of rice, 5,000 MT of sugar, 5,000 MT of beans and 1,000 MT of cooking oil.

In June last year, Malawi signed a deal worth over $150 million (about K120 billion) with South Sudan to supply maize, maize flour, sugar, rice and groundnuts to that country.

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