Challenges Mw Says VACs Making Progress
A development organization, Challenges Malawi, says the 1 billion kwacha pumped into the rejuvenation of Value Addition Centers, VACs, in four districts in the country has assisted to increase agricultural productivity and crop sales.
Speaking after visiting Thabwa VAC, the organization’s Country Manager Phillip Chidawati said is currently engaging the Malawi Bureau of Standards (MBS) to certify the centres in order to broaden the market opportunities for the farmers.
“We know that farmers are finding it hard to get reliable markets. We hope once MBS certify them, they will have numerous opportunities,” said Chidawati.
The Country Manager added that it is encouraging that the four-value addition centres which include Salima, Bua in Nkhotakota, Nsanama in Machinga and Thabwa in Chikwawa are making significant progress.
“Challenges Malawi invested about 1 billion kwacha to promote various capacity building trainings and provision of loans to the centres largely to improve the livelihood of 6, 200 farmers,” said he.
Traditional Authority Mulilima and Chairperson of Thabwa Value Addition Centre Hendreson Makuluni told Zodiak that they are still struggling to find markets for their products including rice and flour.
“At our factory, we have Rice, Flour and pigeon peas machines which give us a capacity to add value to our products. But we need market opportunities,” said Makuluni.