The National Association of Business Women (Nabw) has started efforts to increase sunflower production and processing by engaging cooperatives in capacity building.
Nabw affiliated group members have since completed a specialised training of sunflower production in Lilongwe as part of the capacity building efforts for the women.
Nabw chairperson, Towera Jalakasi said her organisation wants to link the women to processors.
“We developed a business model in order to industrialise sunflower. We are building capacity of the women to produce enough sunflower before linking them to banks that will finance their production and then to processors,” said Jalakasi.
She said Nabw wants the women to start production by April and they will also be linked to seed companies for quality seed that will be used for the production.
The women will be tasked to produce at least 92 metric tonnes a year in order to make the available processing machine run to capacity.
Ministry of Industry and Trade Deputy Director of Industry, Silas Sindi said the government will support production of quality and cheap sunflower oil among smallholder farmers to counter the competition from the cheap imports.
He said through Malawi Bureau of Standards, the local manufacturers will be made to produce oil of high quality and affordable.
“We will not use trade bans or non-tariff barriers because we are party to international trade agreements but we will support massive processing of sunflower oil to flood the market and limit the influx of the crude oil,” said Sindi.
Nabw is undertaking the initiative with own resources saying there is a huge potential in the sunflower industry which could support industrial revolution in the country.
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