BY GLORY MSOWOYA, MANA
Ministry of Trade, Industry and Tourism has stressed the need for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to take the packaging process of their products seriously as one way of attracting people to utilize the Buy Malawi Strategy.
Public Relations Officer for the ministry, Mayeso Msokera told Malawi News Agency (Mana) on Tuesday that local producers in the country are failing to penetrate the market due to poor packaging of their products.
Msokera added that local companies are also charging high prices on their products, a thing which makes more people not to buy local products in line with the strategy.
“Some good quality products have been let down by poor packaging materials which mostly affects SMEs in the agro industry; as a country we have more work to do because poor packaging affects domestic sales and also the ability to export,” Msokera said.
“As a ministry, we have noted that local companies pricing strategy is also affecting SMEs since Malawians are highly price sensitive. Some producers including retailers and distributors put their profit margins unreasonably too high which slows down sales and market penetration,” added Msokera.
However, Msokera said despite poor quality packaging and high pricing of the products, there has been a good response from Malawians and local producers in line with the use of the strategy after four years of its introduction.
“At first, we had a slow start but now both producers and consumers are embracing the Buy Malawi Strategy as they now understand what it is all about. Most companies now know and understand that participating in the strategy implementation can help them not only improve on sales but also improve on so many other aspects of their products or services.
“Currently about 60 local producers have subscribed to the strategy and the number could have been more than that but it is the criteria that we use that keeps some producers out,” he added.
President Professor Peter Mutharika launched the BMS on March 18, 2016 in a bid to build competitiveness of enterprises, leading to greater economic growth and increased welfare for all Malawian citizens.