The Malawi Bureau of Standards (MBS) says it has reduced certification fees by hakf in a bid to improve performance of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the country.
MBS director general Symon Mandala made the announcement in Lilongwe on Monday during the opening of the second MBS training on standards and certification process.
He said: “We hope that by subsidising the certification fees, more SMEs will get certified which will create jobs for more Malawians.”
Mandala urged SMEs to collaborate with the bureau in ensuring that quality products are being produced for the market.
MBS figures show that certification fees range from K9 000 to K100 000.
In his reaction, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Institute (Smedi) director of training Edward Chilima said the institute is working with MBS to ease the transition from uncertified to certified SMEs and help them compete in organised markets.
He said, to date, Smedi has trained about 160 SMEs and plans to reach out to as many SMEs as possiblein the country.
One of the trainees, Sandy Charumia, a horticulture farmer based in Lilongwe, said the reduction in the certification fees will encourage more SMEs to get their products certified by the bureau.
She said: “The training will help us with knowledge on what standards we as SMEs should always keep to ensure our products are safe.”
The training, which targeted SMEs from Lilongwe and surrounding areas, sought to equip the SMEs with product quality improvement skills and also educate them on the certification process.