Parliament Wants Malawi- S. Sudan Deal Reviewed

The Parliamentary Committee on Trade, Industry and Tourism has asked the Ministry of Agriculture to review the government-facilitated contract on the export of food items from Malawi to South Sudan.

This follows the county’s underperformance in its first year of the implementation of the deal where it exported food items worth K1.4 billion of the required K295 billion.

A report shows that some food items that were exported to South Sudan took time to reach the destination and were rejected. For example, it said some lots of maize developed weevils and was declared not good for human consumption.

On Wednesday, Thandize Loti, Managing Director for IDEAL Group, a company responsible for exporting maize in the contract, told the parliamentary committee that Malawi failed to satisfy the needs of the export deal to South Sudan due to financing challenges.

Chairperson of the committee Chithyola Banda observed that Malawi also failed to fulfil the deal’s requirements because some key players were left out in the initial agreement.

“We feel that some players within the contract did not do their work well and that some key players were left out of the equation when this contract came into being," he said.

He has since asked the Ministry of Agriculture to capacitate the state grain marketer ADMARC, saying it has the capacity to improve the quantity and quality of agricultural produce to be exported to South Sudan. 

"We have ADMARC in mind because it has an important role in aggregating value chains that will help suffice the export demand with quality assurance," he said.

Principal secretary responsible for irrigation services Geoffrey Mamba told the committee the ministry is restructuring ADMARC to improve the quantity and quality of agricultural produce it handles to meet the demand.

“When it comes to export related things, we are talking of volumes that we need to aggregate and export. We need big players such as ADMARC that can play the role of aggregating the produce from the remotest areas of Malawi.

“The efforts of the ministry, through the minister of agriculture to reform ADMARC are commendable and all of us in the ministry are looking forward to the reforms being done," he added.

On June 21, 2021, Malawi signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Trade and Economic Cooperation with South Sudan to supply maize, maize flour, sugar and rice worth K295 billion, and in return, Malawi will import petroleum and bitumen from South Sudan.

 

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Last modified on Monday, 12/09/2022

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