Figures from the Ministry of Trade which Nthanda Times has seen show that the country has raised about K83 billion after exporting 157, 750, 680 Kilograms (kg) of soya beans by July 31, 2021.
The Ministry says most the soya has been exported to markets in Tanzania, India, and the United Arab Emirates.
In an interview with Nthanda Times, Ministry of Trade spokesperson Mayeso Msokera said soya beans have performed this year and offered the strong potential for export diversification in view of the expected sustained demand from regional and international markets.
” Significant growth potential now exists in the new markets with high demand in countries such as China, India, and the United of Arab Emirates that are now opening up to Africa, as they seek to reduce over-reliance on the World’s Major soya beans producers such as the USA and Brazil.
“It is the Ministry’s considered view, therefore as we promote export of high value-added products, we also need to continue strengthening the primary sectors that are performing well such as soya bean value chain”, said Msokera.
In a separate interview, agriculture expert Felix Lombe said that figures show that, by doubling productivity and exports, the crop could smartly overtake tobacco.
“The reality is we are exporting more soybeans than what is reported because of smuggling. In principle, it is possible to triple the exports. The formula remains uncomplicated; good agriculture practice, support to medium scale farmers and irrigation,” said Lombe.
Grain market analyst Leonard Chimwaza said that there was a need to mobilize farmers to produce and aggregate in groups for them to access certified seed and agriculture extension Services with ease, hence enhancing production and aggregation.
“Contact farming is a good practice to have production oriented towards markets. Buyers must align themselves to producers so that they agree on quality standards, quantities and timeliness,” said Chimwaza.
He said the government through the Malawi Investment and Trade Centre, the Malawi Confederation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry and the Department of Agricultural Services must be in equipping potential exporters, transporters and inspectors with relevant knowledge and information on trade.
The commodity topped the list of exports in the fourth quarter of the 2020/2021 financial year, raking in about K53.738 billion and contributing 27 percent to national exports.
It was seconded by burley tobacco which fetched K48.135 billion during the period under review. Groundnuts came third contributing K22. 962 billion, while black tea brought in K17. 033 billion and sugar fetched K 10.236.
The country is on a drive to diversify its exports base to complement tobacco.