Illovo Sugar (Malawi) Limited has invested K25 million ($45 454) to grow maize at its Dwangwa Estate in Nkhotakota for distribution to hunger-stricken people in the district.
The Malawi Stock Exchange (MSE)-listed company will grow the country’s staple grain on 37.7 hectares where it is expected to produce 3.5 tonnes.
Speaking in an interview after Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development Allan Chiyembekeza toured the fields on Friday, Dwangwa Estate general manager Lal Bachan said they have, so far, spent K16 million ($29090), adding that by the time of harvesting they would have spent K25 million ($45 454).
He said: So far, we have spent K16 million on land preparation, seed procurement, planting, irrigation, fertilisers, herbicides and labour. We are happy with the way the maize is growing and we hope we will be able to harvest by the end of October.”
On his part, Chiyembekeza said government will continue supporting companies such as Illovo which are helping government to fight food shortages in the country.
“This is a very unusual year because despite investing quite a lot in agriculture, the country experienced floods and a dry spell which affected the yields.
“We have a 30.2 percent maize deficit [and] this is why we are encouraging the private sector to emulate the example set by Illovo,” he said. n