Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development Allan Chiyembekeza officially opened the $10 million (K5 billion) new business complex for Seed Co Malawi in Lilongwe, with an assurance that government will continue to provide policy platform and conducive environment for business.
The new complex in Kanengo industrial area in Lilongwe, which comprises offices, seed processing factory, warehouse and a seed shop, will have a capacity to process seed for the whole country within three months.
“I would like to assure you that government will strive to protect the interest of the private sector and will continue engaging with the private sector on matters affecting their interests,” said Chiyembekeza.
His statement comes on the heels of continued general outcry of a harsh business environment characterised by high interest and inflation rates and a rapidly depreciating kwacha, threatening to knock down business operations.
Chiyembekeza, however, reiterated that government has created a conducive business environment for private sector to conduct their trade in a less risky environment.
“This has boosted the trust and confidence that private sector has in the Government of Malawi and, as a result, meaningful investment decisions are being made,” he added.
He thanked management of Seed Co Group headquartered in Zimbabwe for accepting to invest in Malawi, saying the company had other more deserving options elsewhere.
The minister described Seed Co as a key stakeholder in the development of agriculture sector in Malawi, citing its leading role in the provision of improved seeds to the farming community.
Seed Co Malawi managing director Dellings Phiri said with the new facility, the quality of seed to be offered on the market from this year will be of top quality.
He said the impact of the company’s investment on Malawi’s agriculture sector would be through increased output per unit of land, increased efficiencies among farmers and enhanced quality of seed, among others.
The new complex is expected to increase employment in the head count by 15 percent and would also unleash indirect employment opportunities around Lilongwe’s Area 51 through food vending to Seed Co work force.