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Sunday, June 16, 2024

Malawi to Start Exporting Linen

By Patricia Kapulula

Apart from emphasising on development of irrigated agriculture and setting up irrigation schemes, the Greenbelt Authority is geared to go into the international market by exporting cotton-made linen.

Greenbelt Authority Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Henrie Njoloma told Malawi News Agency (MANA) recently the authority is looking at value addition facilities which will see exporting of cotton linen materialising.

He emphasised on the need to step-up efforts in value addition so that the country generates the-much-needed forex through exports such as cotton linen.

The CEO said all projects under the authority are structured in a way that products should not end at the agricultural production only but there must be value addition.

He observed that the country is doing well in value addition of its agricultural products.

“In the cotton project, we are already ginning. We have partnered with ADMARC and once we have substantial investment in the production of cotton itself, we will go beyond ginning and start producing linen. This is what we are going to be doing going forward,” he said.

Apart from the cotton project, Njoloma cited the sugar project in Salima and Kilombero Rice Project in Karonga as some of the initiatives where value addition is taking place.

“At each project that we have, we have put up a factory to process the products so that they are not sold raw,” he said.

The authority was among the 16 companies, both public and private, which participated at the January UK-Africa Investment Summit and the UK-Malawi Investment Forum in London, United Kingdom (UK).

Njoloma hailed both the summit and the forum, saying there was a lot of interest which was generated by the UK investors on what they could do in the agriculture sector in Malawi.

He disclosed that the authority got more than 10 leads which they are following up to ensure the sector has structured investments on value addition facilities.

“Our main achievement in the January 2020 investment Summit was to be able to have three key and very big financiers that will be coming to the Greenbelt.

“We have Commonwealth Development Corporation (CDC), UK Africa Invest and UK Financing Services Institution which are coming. Talks about how to structure the financing will be conducted soon,” said Njoloma.

In November last year (2019), Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development, Kondwani Nankhumwa launched the Malawi Cotton Development Strategy.

The strategy, which runs from 2019-2025 is meant to revitalize the cotton sector and allow it to return to optimal and consistent production levels that can adequately support value chain activities.

The 3,000-hectare Chikwawa-Nchalo Cotton Project was one of the projects that the Greenbelt Authority took to the Summit and the Forum for possible investment opportunities.

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