Local Entities Drill Smallholder Farmers on Value Addition
The country’s independent and nonprofit-making organization, Temwanani Agri-Food Enterprise, has challenged smallholder farmers and small-scale businesses to form cooperatives to secure better terms of trade.
Speaking in an exclusive interview at this year’s Malawi International Trade Fair at the Trade Fair grounds in Blantyre, Temwanani Agri-Food Enterprise Executive Director Temwanani Disi said through cooperatives, members are able to secure loans from financial lending institutions that can help them fulfill their business potential.
Disi said, “Members are able to secure loans and better markets for their products through cooperatives. Through partnerships, members will also have a strong voice in the governance and management of their businesses.”
Disi cited Amayi Hub, a project under the Small and Medium Enterprise Development Institute (SMEDI), saying it is supporting women in the country in business innovation and skills.
She further disclosed that, currently, the project is supporting 50 women across the country, especially in value addition.
“Our main focus is on value addition.
We have already supported 50 women as a pilot project, especially at Mponela in Dowa, on value addition in the manufacturing of products such as honey, tomato sauce and other agricultural produce,” explained Disi.
According to Disi, Amayi Hub is a project being implemented by regional members in three countries, namely Malawi, Germany and India.
At the official opening of this year’s International Trade Fair, which was held under the theme: Rebalancing Malawi’s trade through Industrialization Malawi Confederation Chambers of Commerce and Industry (MCCCI) Executive Director Lekani Katundula also challenged local manufacturers to think about innovation by producing competitive
and quality goods ready for export.
Meanwhile, a Mozambican company, Business Logistics and Services, through its Sales Assistant Otilia Ntefula said that despite the low turnout of exhibitors at this year’s Malawi International
Trade, the business episode still created a platform to connect with international markets.
“We are satisfied with the quality of goods and services displayed despite the low turnout. We hope this will help us improve service delivery, as we had an opportunity to learn from our colleagues,” she said.