BY WATIPASO MZUNGU,
The National Smallholder Farmers Association of Malawi (Nasfam) has clinched a multi-million kwacha deal with an undisclosed Germany company to be exporting groundnuts to the European country.
The pact would see Nasfam supplying about 400 metric tonnes of groundnuts to the firm annually.
Nasfam Chief Executive Officer, Betty Chinyamunyamu, told journalists in Lilongwe on Monday that this is an indication of growing international market demand for local groundnuts.
She was speaking on the sidelines of a stakeholders’ workshop organised by the Platform for African European Partnership on Agricultural Research for Development (Paerpard), a European Union (EU)- funded project aimed at enhancing capacity of agricultural producers in Africa.
The project also supports collaboration between African and Europe countries on innovative agriculture and research.
She said this would motivate farmers in the country to produce high-quality commodities for the international market.
She called on stakeholders to adopt a holistic approach in addressing challenges that farmers are facing when producing the commodity.
“Prospects are high that Malawi would penetrate the international market if we improve on quality,” Chinyamunyamu said.
But Chief Agricultural Research Scientist in the Ministry of Agriculture, Hendrex Kazembe-Phiri, said aflatoxins have been posing a threat to international trade, health, food security and national development efforts.
He said about 25 percent of the world’s food crops are affected by aflatoxin, and tropical countries such as Malawi and Zambia are at high risk.
Malawi has been advocating diversification of agriculture products from traditional cash crops such as tobacco to other commodities including groundnuts.
However, production of the crop has been negatively affected by weather-related shocks in the recent years.
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