Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) says the country is on course to meet the S1 billion (K167 billion) target in export earnings come December 2012.
RBM spokesperson Leslie Mkandawire was responding to a questionnaire on Monday regarding the Export Development Fund (EDF), a private sector driven initiative aimed at supporting exporters to generate more forex for the country.
“With the support the EDF is getting from all stakeholders, the targeted US $1 billion is likely to be met by end of the year. The EDF has received applications from several associations and enterprises,” said Mkandawire.
Funds amounting to K25 billion (about $150m) were set aside to be loaned out to farmers and other export traders under the EDF with the aim of generate more forex for the country.
The idea is to widen the countryâ€™s export base in order to generate more forex which has been in short supply in the past two years, affecting the purchase of essential commodities such as fuel, fertiliser and drugs.
Farmers Union of Malawi (FUM), the organisation facilitating the processing of farmersâ€™ loans under the EDF, is currently sensitising farmers across the country on what should be down to access the loans.
Malawi is promoting exports for non-traditional agricultural crops such as groundnuts, soya and pigeon peas which are said to have huge markets outside the country.
There are markets for pigeon peas in India and for groundnuts in Kenya and Uganda which Malawi can capitalise on.
FUM president Felix Jumbe said so far, they have been to Chitipa, Karonga, Mzimba and Mzuzu and they will soon be in the Central Region telling farmers to strategise on how they can start producing the non-traditional export crops.
“We are profiling farmers across the country and the commercial wing of FUM will soon start drilling farmers in export orders, business planning and other issues of quality to meet specifications of export markets,” he said.