SVTP and MITC discuss markets

As preparations for commercial farming continue through the SVTP, the Government of Malawi is leaving no stone unturned. One of the key activities undertaken is to publicise the opportunities available in the project area to off-takers at local, regional and international levels.

MITC officials at the SVTP construction site

“Market availability is the heart of transformation in the Shire Valley. Without markets, there is no Shire Valley Transformation. This is why we have embarked on market identification and publicity of available opportunities,” said Chimwemwe Nyoni, SVTP Marketing and Business Development Specialist.

MITC Chief Executive Officer, Paul Kwengwere, explains the role of his organization in the SVTP. 

“Our role as a key implementing partner in the SVTP entails marketing available opportunities in the Valley and identification of markets as per the demand for products. We are working on processes to link the farmers to identified off-takers to facilitate discussions on trade even way before the commencement of irrigation.”

Kwengwere highlights the importance of utilizing available market and investment opportunities if the country is to shift from its low-income to mid-income status. He cited the example of the SVTP as one of the key stakeholders at the centre of this market hunt.

He added: “Our country is looking for avenues for economic growth. We do not have the luxury of sitting idle but what is critical is to compete for available markets on a global scale. There is a need for us to transition from being import-based to export based. This is why we have embarked on the identification of markets for different value chains available in the country including the SVTP.”

MITC has embarked on market identification for prospective commercial farms in the Shire Valley. The Programme has also engaged over 80 off-takers inside the country on these available opportunities. These include buyers, input and equipment suppliers, financial service providers etc. value addition will be promoted as a measure of boosting revenue.

An online platform of off-takers and existing smallholder-owned farm enterprises will be developed to facilitate engagement between off-takers and Shire Valley farmers. This will be linked with the SVTP website for ease of access.