24 November 2017
Breaking News
Tuesday, 07 November 2017 15:32

Malawi losing billions due to poor handling of produce, MITC

Written by  Trouble Ziba


Lilongwe, November 7, 2017: Malawi is said to be losing billions of Kwacha through compromised post- harvest handling, grading and packaging of its products before they are sold internally or exported. 

The development came to light Tuesday at a capacity- building workshop whichMalawi Investment and Trade Centre (MITC) organized at Capital Hotel in Lilongwe for producers and exporters across the country.

Among other objectives, the workshop aimed at identifying the various challenges holding back the country’s producers and exporters in meeting demands of international markets with their products.

The workshop also sought ways of addressing such challenges.

“Malawi loses billions [of Kwacha] because we have lost out in the way we grade and package our products before export.

“These factors negatively affect the products’ competiveness at international markets within the region and worldwide,” said MITC Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Clement Kumbemba.

Kumbemba attributed the current situation to lack of adequate knowledge in post-production handling, grading and packaging of the products by the country’s producers and exporters.

He stressed the need for them (producers and exporters)   to improve in the way they grade and package their products to enable them compete fairly at international markets.

The MITC CEO observed that most Malawians are attracted to imported products because of good and attractive packaging, even though they may be of poor quality.

He said grading and packaging, especially for grain products such as groundnuts, are important aspects in the post-production handling and before export.

“That is why MITCorganized this workshop to equip producers and exporters with skills that will be required for their products to be certified as of good quality,” Kumbemba said.

A representative of the Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism, Dr Joseph Mkandawire, said it was government’s desire to reach out to several Malawians with information on how they can handle their produce after harvest, grade and package them before exportation.

He shared Kumbemba’s sentiments that Malawi was losing a lot of money through improper grading and packaging of the products she produces.

“To penetrate the international market, there has to be good grading and packaging of our products before export.

“The message to Malawians is that they need to know what should be expected of the country’s products to meet international market standards,” said Mkandawire who is Director of Finance and Administration in the ministry.

Some of the areas the workshop covered included Packaging Development and Design, Packaging industry sectors and opportunities of the packaging sectors.

The workshop was also purposed to prepare producers and exporters across the country to know how to handle their products before exporting. This, according to officials, would enable the products to compete fairly at international markets.

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