Tue. May 28th, 2024

Malawi’s soya industry has made a breakthrough into Chinese market as the southern African country seeks to increase agricultural exports to boost the economy.

Malawi Investment and Trade Center Chief Executive Officer, Paul Kwengwere, confirmed to local media Friday that a 240 metric tons trial consignment by Paramount Holdings Limited, a local company, was successfully exported and approved by Chinese authorities.

He further said this is a culmination of efforts by various stakeholders, including government agencies, private enterprises, and Chinese representatives.

Paramount Holdings Limited Managing Director Mahesh Ghedhia told the local media his company emerged successful out of the companies that went through accreditation process by the Chinese authorities to ascertain quality of the produce before it was shipped to China.

He further said the successful trial will lead to exportation of 20,000 metric tons of soybeans by his company.

“This shipment opens a door for Malawian exporters and we plan to increase our volumes because the Chinese market is looking for 100,000 metric tons of soya. We signed a 20,000 metric tons contract,” Ghedhia is quoted as saying.

According to Ghedhia, the exports are subject to waivers that the Ministry of Trade and Industry and the Ministry of Agriculture would give to exporters as the produce is under export restrictions.

Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs Sosten Gwengwe told the local media that the export deal with China was a government to government agreement and so far they had signed protocols on soybeans, macadamia nuts, dry chillies and negotiations are on going to sign protocols on tobacco, tea and ornamental fish.

He further said the Chinese authorities were doing their own accreditation of individual exporters of all the accredited commodities to ensure they meet standards.

“Those exporters that have been accredited will be given waivers on the export restrictions because they ought to fulfill contracts they signed with the Chinese importers,” said Gwengwe.

He described the deal as a game changer to transform the export base currently dominated by tobacco.

Total exports for soybean in 2023 was recorded at 6.9 million U.S. dollars, according to the country’s 2024 annual economic report.

By Joy

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