Faith-based business group, Global Business Roundtable (GBR) Malawi, has unveiled plans to invest $400 million (about K292 billion) in sugar production, milling and banking.
The company disclosed that out of the $400, $100 million (about K730 million)) is for the Agriculture Corporative Bank whereas $300 million (about K219 billion) will be injected into sugarcane production and milling projects, which include ethanol plants, plantation development and administration.
This was revealed at the first GBR Malawi investment conference held at Golden Peacock Hotel on Saturday. The forum attracted both local and international entrepreneurs.
Speaking to Business News, GBR Malawi secretary general David Kamchacha said Malawi has many opportunities in the production of sugar, ethanol and other bio-products, which if properly harnessed can contribute significantly to the social economic status of the country.
“We came up with these products last year and they are still on paper. What is required now is to mobilise resources. We made presentations to get other players interested to be part of the project, and some have shown interest,” said Kamchacha.
GBR Malawi head of investment Phillip Phiri said the projects are what the country needs to advance the development agenda, and Malawians should look out for colossal growth.
“We can only develop and improve our economy if the agriculture sector is given a better platform. The agriculture bank will bridge that gap so that where there are regulations to support the sector there should be corresponding funding to have colossal growth,” said Phiri.
He added that GBR Malawi is already in touch with the funders with the help of GBR International, which is headquartered in South Africa and they expect the project to start early next year.
According to GBR, the agriculture and cooperative bank will focus on farmers or clubs with at least two hectares of land, and women farmers shall be given priority.
GBR Malawi Sugar Corporation will be registered to promote and facilitate the establishment of an integrated sugar processing plant with the involvement of the farmers as business partners to help to improve social and economic lives of the different farming communities.
The sugar project is expected to employ between 2 000 and 3 000 people.
GBR International is present in 71 countries. n