Liwinza Honey and Wine Cooperative Society Limited says it has registered a significant improvement in productivity and quality on its products over the past few years.
The cooperative has also registered an increase in demand for its products on the local market, thanks to technical support from Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica).
Jica, through One Village One Project (Ovop), is enhancing the capacity and empowering members of the Liwinza Cooperative to enable them discover ways to increase productivity while maintaining high levels of quality.
The cooperative vice chairperson Square Nsambo told journalists on a tour last Thursday that the group was established in 2006 to replace tobacco farming because of the continued tumbling of prices of ‘green gold’ on the market.
Said Nsambo: “We started with five beehives. But today, have over 70 beehives. This would not have been achieved if it were not for the technical support of Jica through Ovop.”
He said the cooperative is currently discussing with Malawi Bureau of Standards (MBS) on what needs to be done for them to be get certified.
“We want to expand market for our products beyond the borders. The demand for our products is very high on the local market. And we believe our products can also make it onto the international market.
“But we cannot invade an international market before securing an MBS certificate,” he explained.
Jica programme officer Michael Malewezi said he was impressed with the level of improvements various cooperatives and groups are registering after receiving technical assistance from their office.
The media tour was organised as a follow-up on the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (Ticad) held in Nairobi, Kenya.
It aimed to showcase some of the development projects Jica and Ovop are implementing in the country, according to Malewezi.