The Malawian government has expressed its intention to increase exports through agriculture by cultivating beef and goat products.
Alfred Mwenefumbo from the Ministry of Agriculture, told the Malawi Investment Forum in Johannesburg last week that they aim to balance Malawi’s economy by creating more products for exports.
Malawi’s imports significantly outweigh its exports, causing hikes in the prices of products for locals and creating exorbitant customs duties for neighbouring countries supplying the imports and the means of transportation.
Not having sea access means Malawi outsources logistics to move goods to and from coastal ports, resulting in higher customs duties for products crossing multiple borders.
Although Malawi’s rice, fruit, nuts, and tobacco exports have supported its economy, the expansion of beef exports begs the question of how the country will market its products against older and more prolific neighbouring suppliers such as Botswana.
Alice Mogomba from the Malawian Ministry of Trade and Investment addressed these concerns at the Forum
She said, “The approach for us to export beef or goat meat is not that we are entering the market to compete with others, rather we are meeting the demand, both internally and externally. With time, the demand (for these products) is increasing, but the supply is low. We are simply coming in to fill the gap.”
Malawi has a high demand for beef products at more reasonable prices.
The demand for affordable beef for its citizens, as it’s too expensive for local communities due to import customs duties, has grown.
This led the government to invest in beef cattle farming to reduce the price of domestically retailed beef.
Furthermore, goat meat is extremely popular in Malawi, and they pride themselves on the quality of meat cultivated in their indigenous purebred goats.
However, as the market for goat meat has grown, suppliers have been unable to meet demand.
As a result, the Malawian government is investing in expanding goat farming infrastructure.
More than half of the appeal for Malawian products is the promise of organic cultivation, in both crops and cattle, which will meet new global food and health trends, Mogomba said.
It is believed that this will be the driving factor in promoting new products from Malawi.
Mogomba also told the Forum that industrialisation is a key focal point for investment because Malawi lacks processing plants.
The Malawian government is also investing in more abattoirs and agricultural processing plants.