One of the country’s groundnuts processors, Afri-oils Limited, has said the crop remains a vital source of income and nutrients for rural households.
Afri-oils Limited Board Chairperson, Tim de Borde, was speaking ahead of the launch of a groundnuts processing facility at Njewa in Lilongwe this Thursday.
Borde said Malawi could make considerable economic gains if it harnessed groundnut production.
“It’s true that the sector has suffered massive decline in exports and inadequate investments in recent years. We seek to move beyond production of raw groundnuts into the range of value-added products to significantly increase groundnut exports,” Borde said.
The state of the art factory is part of a Goingnuts Project which is being funded by the government of the Netherlands.
The project will see the establishment of a sustainable peanut value chain through inclusive business.
“We intend to achieve this by setting up infrastructure for diversified quality groundnuts and through linking small scale groundnut farmers to international, regional and domestic markets, and providing them with training opportunities, among others,” Borde said.
According to Borde, the project’s implementing partners, the National Association of Small Holder in Malawi, Exagris Africa and Dapp, are expected to reach out to about 20,000 smallholder farmers by 2020.
Minister of Industry, Trade andTourism, Henry Mussa, is expected to officially open the facility.