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Malawi Failing to meet Paprika Market Demand

Lack of capacity and economic empowerment is making Malawian farmers fail to meet a readily available international market for 10,000 metric tones of Paprika which could source K2.4 billion.

According to Farm Income Diversification Program, the farmers currently are only able to grow and export 500 metric tones.

Farm Income Diversification Program (FIDP) Coordinator Mr. Charles Price says Malawi has been allocated a quota of 10,000 metric tones of Paprika to export overseas.

“Malawi is capable of exporting 10,000 metric tones per year but we are failing to reach that target, a clear indication that we are failing to grasp an opportunity that would generate forex,” said Mr. Price.

He said although Paprika can bring a lot of forex but it should just be a compliment to tobacco, saying the volume Malawi is allowed to export cannot substitute the green gold.

On Tuesday, FIDP, with funding from European Union launched a campaign sensitizing farmers in Lilongwe to increase production in an attempt to exhaust Malawi’s quota.

One farmer, Mr. Gabriel Michembo from Mbala village in the area of Traditional Authority Mazengera said is making a lot of money from Paprika.

He said he used to be a tobacco farmer but abandoned the green gold after poor prices on the market.  - Zodiak Online

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0 #4 botolo 2012-03-31 16:16
Let's be honest here. We may talk of paprika, but what is the price per kg of paprika? And what will be the cost of producing a unit of paprika? Let's bring up all the facts on the ground. Don't advocate crops that may not assist the local farmer for the sake of protecting your jobs. Paprika has been there more than a decade. Why now! Justify your argument.
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0 #3 PK 2012-03-31 12:00
The guys says Malawi is capable of exporting 10,000 tons and yet he also says Malawi lacks capacity. What a contradition! English is not our language. Moving to the substative issue, I think Mr. Price and others should shed more light. I have made a calculation...if 10,000 metric tons can generate K2.4 billion, it means 1 ton would net K240,000. Now the experts should tell us: What does it take to produce 1 ton of Paprika? How much land? How much labour? How much fertilizer and pesticides? How much seed? What type of soil and what level of rain/irrigation is needed?I think dry paprika is a very light substance and to produce 1 ton of it shd be quite a task. Secondly, who provides advice on the husbandry practices of growing Paprika? Where does a farmer in Hewe or Namadidi sell his paprika? What would be the price per ton for the farmer? The expers should decipher these issues and communicate the info in a lay man's language and I'm sure the farmer will make a decision to grow more if it makes economic sense to him/her
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0 #2 Wakumudzi 2012-03-30 12:41
it is surprising that opportunities like these are underutilised. Personnally i feel there is a gap between producers and the markets. i am confident if farmers had been well informed they would have met the requirement.
secondly, how lucrative is the paprika would make it attractive to farmers, what about cost benefit analysis? i recall that around 1990s the issue of paprika arose and farmers reacted but ALAS there seems to havee been an oversupply. The following year farmers decided to seek alternative substitutes. It is high time authorities make efforts to bridge the gap between producers and markets. take for example ground nuts. Malawi was one of the leading producers of ground nuts. how Malawi hibernated i stand to be advised.
History tell me that Malawian farmers do listen when information reaches them. Does anyone remember about the much touted sun flower (mpendadzuwa)? farmers responded but it the usual story as was with paprika. can someone communicate so that it remains to be seen if there wont be reactions from farmers. Assuring them with markets is not enough BUT making the farmers ACCESS those markets.
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0 #1 John Kholowa 2012-03-30 06:30
Malawi is really missing an opportunity here. I think alot of sensitization can go along way to improve the situation.
I have 5 hectares of land in Blantyre part of which I can allocate to paprika. May someone advise me how I contact Mr Charles Price or any other authority on this issue.
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