President Lazarus Chakwera on Monday officially commissioned a groundnut processing plant at Pyxus Agriculture Limited in Lilongwe.
The plant is the biggest processing plant in Africa outside South Africa and has a daily capacity of 50,000 metric tonnes. It will create close to 2000 jobs and support over 6000 farmers in the country.
Furthermore, the plant will also create other side benefits such as increased incomes for over 30,000 farmers and business opportunities for a range of suppliers and small scale traders.
Speaking after officially commissioning the plant, President Chakwera termed the event as historic in terms of the impact it will have not only on the Agriculture industry but the economy as a whole.
“Food processing businesses like this one are music to my ears, because they guarantee markets for our farmers and growers, as well as jobs for our youth. It is no small thing that this food processing plant is the largest in the region,” he said.
The President reiterated his commitment to ensure that the full potential of agri-business is realized and maximized in Malawi.
According to President Chakwera, food processing businesses offer other multiply effects as they present opportunities to other industries such as packaging, machinery and equipment suppliers.
Also speaking at the event was Minister of Trade and Industry Mark Katsonga who commended Pyxus for the new investment which augurs well with the second National Export Strategy (NES II) which is designed to double the current exports value.
National Export Strategy II was launched in December 2021 and seeks to reverse the country’s fortunes from a predominantly importing economy to an exporting one.
In his remarks, Pyxus Managing Director Ronald Ngwira said the plant has the potential to unlock agro industrialization which is in line with government’s transformation agenda.
He informed the gathering that on aggregate, Africa produces about 4.4 metric tonnes of groundnuts but lamented that out such production, Malawi share is less than one percent.