Malawi loses in K900 billion deal

President of Malawi

Malawi, which has been facing forex challenges for months, has missed a chance to make US$885 million (K900 billion) in a farm produce deal signed in 2021 with South Sudan.

Under the deal, Malawi was expected to export maize flour, groundnuts and beans worth US$295 billion (about K300 billion) every year for five years to South Sudan.

However, over two years into the deal, Malawi has only managed to supply 1,200 metric tonnes worth US$1.4 million (about K1.5 billion).

This is according to a report which Trade, Industry and Tourism Committee of Parliament Chairperson Paul Nkhoma presented in Parliament yesterday.

Nkhoma said that some of the produce, including maize flour, was delayed for months in transit and arrived in in South Sudan while rotten.

“This is unfortunate looking at the possibility of boosting the country’s export basket as well as generation of forex had it been the deal had worked as planned,” he said.

Commenting on the report, Leader of the House Richard Chimwendo Banda who is also Minister of Local Government in the Lazarus Chakwera administration said the export deal would have helped the country generate forex and empower farmers.

“The report highlights quite a number of issues, from institutional challenges [to others]. We are talking about an opportunity which was already signed, a deal which was already done, and there was expectation from Malawians that the deal would be done,” Chimwendo Banda told The Daily Times.