Consumers Association of Malawi (CAMA) has condemned cooking oil producers for importing their crude oil from countries such as Malaysia and India at high prices instead of using locally found raw materials grown by farmers in Malawi.
CAMA has demanded the Ministries of Trade and Industry to stop giving import licenses to the Cooking Oil Refiners/Producers for the importation of Crude Oil.
In a statement yesterday, CAMA’s Executive Director John Kapito Malawian farmers produce a lot of Soya, Groundnuts and Sunflower used in the production of edible cooking oils but throughout the years farmers that grow these raw materials have failed to find markets for their produce because the local cooking oil refiners and producers opt to buy crude oil from their own countries of origin.
Kapito added that for the past years ,the country was producing its own cooking oils using its own materials , companies like Uniliver, Lever Brothers used to produce Cooking Vegetable Oil (COVO) and Kazinga with linkages to local farmers but today, most of the cooking oil available on the market is dominantly imported from other countries.
“It is, therefore, shocking that today the Malawi Government would allow an Association of Cooking Oil Refiners/Producers to import all their raw materials from their home countries and deny our local famers access to markets,” said Kapito.
“The local cooking oil producers are also demanding a number of tax incentives from Government from a product that has no added value to Malawians, especially farmers and Consumers.”
CAMA has for a long time lobbied with Government to empower local Malawians linking them with local farmers to start producing local cooking oils.
Kapito said the cooking oil refiners are ransoming Government and Consumers as if no one else apart from them can produce cooking oils in Malawi.
He noted that Malawi has huge technical expertise supported by many graduates from our Technical Colleges and Universities that can be empowered with resources to go into the production of Cooking Oil and create linkages with farmers and start producing locally Malawian cooking oils.
He then described the importation of crude oil as an abuse of scarce resources.
“We are appealing to the Ministries of Trade and Industry to stop giving import licenses to the Cooking Oil Refiners/Producers for the importation of Crude Oil. We have also noted that both Ministries of Trade and Industry are some of the State captured institutions and are not in control of their mandates hence compromised,” he said.