Mtalimanja Rice Milling has started operations initially targeting the domestic market but plans are at an advanced stage for the company to start supplying international markets.
The rice factory, located in Nkhotokota has become the largest in Southern Africa with capacity to produce over 100, 000 metric tonnes of rice annually.
Mtalimanja Factory Manager, John Adams, confirmed that production is on course and that local markets are being supplied.
“We make white rice which is 65 to 70 percent of the total production and rice flour and husks as some of the by-products. Broken rice makes up two to three percent of the total production and is used for porridge. Husks are 20 percent of the total production and they are used for chicken beddings,” he said.
According to Adams, by 2020, its farmers will have quality improved seed as Business Innovation Facilities is working with the rice farmers in seed production.
“We are using generators due to the power supply shortfalls and as such only able to produce 30 to 50 tonnes per day out of our full capacity of 240 tonnes per day,” he said.
Rice farmers in the area have since said they are benefiting from the factory.
One of the farmers,Liviyasi Gabriel, said he is now able to meet day to day needs using the earnings he gets from the factory.
“At first, we had no market for the rice but with the coming in of Mtalimanja, we now have a steady market. Their prices are very good and some of us have bought vehicles from proceeds,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Malawi Investment and Trade Centre (MITC) has embarked on a project called Enhanced Integrated Framework (EIF) to help businesses like Mtalimanja Rice Milling Factory through market linkages.
MITC Public Relations Manager, Deliby Chimbalu, said the EIF project is promoting Malawi valued added products into regional and international markets.
“The economic benefits of developing the rice value chain to the Malawi economy are enormous and include foreign exchange generation through rice exports. It is estimated that at full production capacity, the rice factory can generate a lot of money and in the process elevate sustainable poverty through economic empowerment,” she said.
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