Bangwe Weaving Factory, a manufacturing concern run by the Malawi Council for the Handicapped (Macoha) in Blantyre, has entered the export market and most of its products are being sold in the US, Netherlands and South Africa.
All along the weaving factory has been producing an array of diversified crafted items rated world class for the local market.
The factoryâ€™s centre manager, Henderson Nyondo, said on Friday they have already exported products in the weaving and tie and dye areas and earned $17 000 (K5.4 million) since September.
But he said the export revenue can grow to $45 000 (K14.4 million) annually.
â€œThe expansion in foreign markets is intended to increase the employment of people with disabilities from 103 to 200. Thus, an additional 97 people with disabilities will be recruited and trained. Income realised through profits will be contributed to Macoha mainstream for rehabilitation activities for people with disabilities,â€ said Nyondo.
On the other hand, the domestic market can generate an annual sales turnover of $83 000 (K27 million), but the factory requires a sales turnover of $232 143 for the factory to break even.
â€œThe current domestic market is, therefore, generating far too less sales to support operations of the factory; hence, the need to penetrate foreign markets,â€ he said.
The factory has identified an agent in the US, Holly Dunlap, who is facilitating their export trade and has given them sewing machines and one dyeing pot.
She has also bought assorted drill fabrics, dye and other chemicals needed for the orders whenever stocks are not available in Malawi.
WithÂ Â Â Â Â Â the partnership, the factory hopes to benefit since production will no longer be interrupted; hence, requesting the Export Processing Zone (EPZ) facility.
The factory, according to production manager Danneck Andrew Katesa, has four units namely; weaving, block screen art, tie and dye and tailoring.