The Center for Agricultural Transformation (CAT) in Malawi has awarded grants to the second cohort of businesses that will implement business incubation and commercialization initiatives in Malawi.
CAT Executive Director Macleod Nkhoma said the first parameter taken into account for groups to consider was their potential for added value, as they want to ensure that the push for commercialization and diversification of l agriculture is achieving its goal.
Nkhoma said that CAT is proud to see that more and more companies and enterprises come forward to join with them in their collective quest to achieve agricultural transformation within the framework of comprehensive national development, Vision MW2063. which recognizes agricultural production and marketing as one of its pillars. This initiative is in line with the CAT, which aims to contribute to the achievement of the national agenda 2063 on agricultural transformation.
“When we see ourselves as a country we have to make sure that our agriculture diversifies, this is also one of our goals as CAT. A value chain alone cannot provide the income security that farmers and even the country itself need, ”Nkhoma said.
“If you look at the generation of currencies, if you have diversified your agriculture into other value chains, you also increase other potential income for the country when it comes to forex, these businesses when they grow we believe that they will have an impact on various value chains in agriculture, ”he added.
One of the partners in the initiatives, Smoke Free Foundation (FSFW) Program Director Riz Khan said while acknowledging that demand for tobacco is declining globally and realizing the vulnerability of the The Malawian economy due to its heavy dependence on it, his organization, through its affiliates, agricultural transformation initiatives in Malawi supports, among other things, the identification of alternative value chains and economic opportunities.
“We need to be able to make full use of these trade agreements with our value-added products with the support of the partnership and be part of the solution to address the value-added and marketing challenges that small farmers face,” Khan said.
One of the winners, Sphiwe Mauwa of Shami Sunflower Cooking Oil, said their duty now would be to provide an easily accessible market for farmers to start supplying them with sunflower seeds to produce sunflower oil as well. only cakes.
Mauwa further revealed that the sharp escalation in cooking oil prices in Malawi is due to the lack of legal documents such as sunflower, which prompted farmers to increase sunflower cultivation as they now have an easily accessible market for them to buy.
“Most of the small farmers grow tobacco and corn because there is a market for them, so as Shami we have an easily accessible market to buy sunflowers from the farmers. We will supply the sunflower seeds, once they produce the sunflower we will buy them, ”she said.
Mauwa revealed that they have entered into an agriculture contract with 300 farmers who will produce this legislative material.