Illovo Sugar (Malawi) Limited Nchalo Estate in Chikwawa on Saturday commemorated 50 years of operation in Malawi with a promise to satisfy the market with quality products.
The company, which plays an important role in the country’s economy through sales of its exported sugar, is a major source of revenue to the government and provides permanent and seasonal employment to more than 10 000 people.
Speaking at Kalulu Stadium in Chikwawa, Illovo Nchalo Estate general manager Kenneth Tembo said they are proud to be a partner in the country’s development.
He said: “When the industry started, the country’s population was low and now we are around 17 million people. On behalf of government, we are growing maize on more than 500 hectares that we distribute to communities.”
Tembo said Illovo Nchalo Estate, which is owned by Malawi Stock Exchange (MSE)-listed Illovo Sugar (Malawi) Limited, is looking forward to engage communities in sustainable social responsibility projects to make people’s lives better.
Through its existence, Illovo has developed significant agriculture and milling assets and has the capacity to produce 2.3 million tonnes of sugarcane annually, resulting in about 270 000 tonnes of sugar.
In his remarks, Minister of Industry, Trade and Tourism Joseph Mwanamveka commended Illovo Malawi for the significant contribution to the country and promised to continue providing support to the company.
“Government has a draft bill, which aims at regulating the sugar industry to bring sanity in the market,” he said.
Mwanamveka observed that Illovo Malawi failed to meet the quota given to export sugar to Kenya.
He said: “Illovo was given 10 000 metric tonnes to export to Kenya and they failed to meet the target by 30 percent. As a company, they had some challenges of natural disaster such as floods and drought that contributed to their failure to meet the target. They have assured us that they will meet the target by April 2017”.
Apart from Nchalo, Illovo Malawi also has Illovo Dwangwa Estate in Nkhotakota.
Illovo Malawi operates a wide range corporate social responsibility initiative, focusing on education and health, with a broader objective to complement Malawi’s national strategy to alleviate poverty. n