Malawi Investment and Trade Centre (Mitc) has decried the ever dwindling numbers of entrepreneurs that can take up export orders and sustainability of the few exporters in the export business calling for more players to join and take up the existing export opportunities.
Mitc chief executive officer Clement Kumbemba said this on the sidelines of an export order dissemination meeting at the Chichiri Trade Fair grounds last week.
“We have numerous export orders across the globe. For instance, in Dubai only we have $200 million [worth of] orders, about $110 million in Zimbabwe and $100 million in India alone. These are just a few many others that we have. Should we take these seriously, definitely we could out way what we get from tobacco presently,” he said.
Kumbemba said that there is still a gap that needs to be filled although a number of companies have taken the space, adding that many players on the market will enhance competition, thereby improving prices.
“We want to have as many players as we can in the export business for the good of the country. Our desire is to have the commercial part of State produce trader Agricultural Development and Marketing Corporation [Admarc] coming back to the villages to mop out what the farmers are producing and in the same vein help in improving the prices that farmers get through enhanced competition on the market,” he said.
But one of the exporters, Patrick Maseko, who is also managing director of Lennie Enterprises, said information dissemination has remained a challenge and has led to failure most exporters to maximise their opportunity on the export market.
“Besides asking for export orders in Malawi, exporters do the same elsewhere in Africa. It is for this reason that we jointly need to be careful with our pricing because if we happen to overprice the commodity the buyer will obviously go for the commodity that is cheaper. It is, therefore, important that we jointly work with government find ways of making our commodities cheaper,” he said.