Rice on high demand | The Times Group

Post was last updated: June 8, 2018

KAMCHACHA—The country has potential

The National Rice Development Platform (NRDP) has called on stakeholders in the agriculture sector to develop systematic ways of improving rice production if Malawi is to make the most of rising international demand.

NRDP estimates show that value for the market demand is now above $480 million.

The firm said demand for Malawi rice is in excess of 800 000 metric tonnes on the international market, but the country is only able to export less than 20,000 tonnes.

NRDP Chairperson, David Kamchacha, during a stakeholders meeting NRDP held in Lilongwe that Malawi can improve its production levels.

Kamchacha said Malawi is losing a lot due to under-production.

“What should be done is helping the farmer increase production. One of the issues is to look at the seed aspect, the implements that the farmers are using, and the whole value chain and address those gaps so that Malawi can increase rice production,” Kamchacha said.

He said the country has potential to increase production to 2.5 million metric tonnes considering available land for production.

Director of Crop Development in the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development, Godfrey Ching’oma, said that the government is already putting in place measures that would boost rice production in the country.

“Rice is a crop which requires irrigation facilities to reach large scale production and, right now, the government is investing in irrigation. Very soon, there will be the Shire Valley Irrigation Transformation Project which will use more than 40,000 hectares of land, part of which would be [used] for rice production,” Ching’oma said.

He further said that ministry has other projects of empowering smallholder farmers to produce rice through irrigation.

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