Some Ovop groups are exporting baobab oil, honey and other products to Japan and the products are faring well on the market, chief Ovop advisor Tetta Okada has said.
Okada said this when he opened a three-day One Village One (Ovop) regional trade fair in Mzuzu on Friday.
He, however, said what is key is to ensure that the groups value add and nicely pack their products to remain competitive on the global market.
“Malawi producers should grow and produce quality things to get a fair share of the international market,” he said.
He said Malawi products have an advantage on the global market because they “are pure and natural”.
The fair, organised by the Ministry of Industry and Trade and Japanese International Cooperation Agency (Jica), was aimed at helping Ovop groups to market their products.
“This fair is meant to link both producers and potential buyers. So, we hope through this forum some Ovop group will clinch big business deals,” said Okada.
He said lack of standards and quality cause most business to fare badly on the market.
Two weeks ago, Ovop organised a similar fair in Lilongwe.
Ovop national coordinator Kamia Kaluma Sulumba said the fair was also meant to allow Malawians appreciate improved quality of local products in a bid to promote the ‘Buy Malawi Campaign’.
“We are convinced that through these fair, most people will have an opportunity to sample Ovop products. That aside, the fair is the right forum for us to solicit feedback that can help to improve further the quality of our products,” said Kaluma Sulumba.
Ovop project started in 2003 to develop goods and services through value addition by using locally available resources.
Currently, there are 40 Ovop cooperatives across the country.