Minister of Forestry and Natural Resources Nancy Tembo says her ministry will address some of the challenges affecting the production of fish at The Food Company Limited (TFCL) or Maldeco Fisheries.
The minister said this on Thursday during a visit to Maldeco fisheries, aquaculture and Maldeco feeds where, among other things, she appreciated how fish is produced.
“As a minister responsible, I will carry the message to the Ministry of Finance to make sure that the tax the company is charged when importing feeds should be reduced or removed as you know these people are doing great work in the country,” said Tembo in an interview.
On power challenges, the minister said the current government is committed to addressing it, but implored the company’s officials to have effective alternatives that can redeem them during power outages.
During the tour, Tembo expressed satisfaction with the company’s works, saying it is contributing to the fish industry.
She said: “The work is satisfactory. However, let’s not limit ourselves. We need to invest more in the fish industry as you know that fish is the cheapest source of protein.
“If we can invest more in the industry, it can help us also in job creation as you know this is another potential area for job creation.”
The Food Company Limited general manager Andrew Santhe commended the minister for the visit, saying it helped her to understand the challenges the company is facing.
He admitted that their fish is expensive on the market due to several factors such as expensive feeds and stiff competition with imported fish, which are not charged value-added tax (VAT) and other issues.
“But things will change when we begin making our own feed in 2022,” said Santhe.
Commenting on the research which is done by Restoring Fisheries and Sustainable Livelihoods in Malawi (Refresh) project, he said it will help the company in the production of feeds by saving resources, among others.
Refresh project deputy chief of party Daniel Jamu said the research is important to the fish industry in the country.
He said: “The research enables us to access the value of fish resources, which is very important for policymaking and implementation. It also enables us to know the fish stocks; whether we are doing well or not.”
Refresh project is funded by the United States Agency for International Development.