A parliamentary committee questions the government’s commitment to create a fertilizer manufacturing company

A parliamentary commission questioned the government’s commitment to establish a fertilizer factory in the country.

Chairman of the Parliamentary Agriculture Committee, Sameer Suleman, said there was no corresponding action on the ground despite numerous statements from the authorities about the establishment of the fertilizer manufacturing plant.

Suleman blamed the delay on a lack of political will.

Agriculture ministry spokesman Gracian Lungu said there was no update beyond the establishment of a multi-sector committee for the feasibility study.

Former chairman Peter Mutharika on his London tour had struck an agricultural investment deal when he spoke to a team of investors, led by Innoselia Commercial Limited board member Nir Gess and the chairman of British Marine Limited, Akbar Asifis, to bring a fertilizer manufacturing plant to Malawi.

About a decade ago, a Taiwanese company wanted to set up a similar factory, but plans were scrapped after the government of Malawi transferred diplomatic relations from Taiwan to the People’s Republic of China in 2007.

In 2018, the Smallholder Farmers Fertilizer Revolving Fund of Malawi (SFFRFM) unveiled plans to establish a fertilizer manufacturing plant in Blantyre as part of its five-year strategic plan.

Former (now retired) SFFRFM chief executive Dr Andy Kalinde had said the plant would be operational by 2022, adding that three international organizations were ready to partner with the parastatal.

Lowe had said Vice President Dr. Saulos Chilima had endorsed the development in the reform report he submitted.

Lowe said the plant will also help create more jobs for our young people.

Malawi imports about 200,000 metric tons of fertilizer each year, according to figures from the Ministry of Agriculture.

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