The Status of Fruit Production, Processing and Marketing in Malawi uri icon

abstract

  • This study was commissioned by the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) under the Agroforestry and Food Security Programme (AFSP). The purpose of the study was to establish the status of fruit production, processing and marketing in Malawi with respect to the following aspects: the policy environment, trends in demand and supply of fruits and fruit products, marketing infrastructure and institutions and farmer groups involved in the fruit industry. The study involved a review of literature on Malawi's horticulture industry with emphasis on the fruit sub-sector. Consultations with various stakeholders supplemented the literature review. The study revealed a number of constraints that have hindered development of the fruit industry in Malawi. The constraints can broadly be categorized into policy related, technical and technological issues and institutional arrangements which include market organizations. On policy, the study noted that there is no policy and clear strategies on horticulture and that there is limited government and private sector support on production, marketing and processing of horticultural commodities. On the technical and technological aspects, the study revealed that there is limited expertise on post harvest handling especially amongst the smallholder farmers, low production levels and poor quality products due to poor germplasm and inadequate supply of tree seedlings for increased fruit production which would feed into the processing industry. In terms of institutional arrangements, the study revealed that there are ineffective and inefficiently managed farmer organizations due topoor leadership and limited management skills on the part of executive members for the farmers organizations and lack of entrepreneurship skills amongst most smallholder farmer s. The study also noted that there is lack of organized markets, poor marketing infrastructure including market information system and low prices offered on horticultural commodities due to low quality and inefficient markets. The study makes a number of recommendations including the need for a clear policy, strategies for developing an enabling regulatory environment for the promotion of fruit production, processing and marketing; the need for improved marketing infrastructure including the establishment of specialized markets (physical infrastructure) with facilities for handling fruits and fruit products. Strengthening farmer organizations/cooperatives,improved advisory services and improved access to credit are also recommended. The study also recommends promoting investment in value-adding technologies through tax reforms and funding of research in low cost value-adding technologies. Lastly but not least, the study recommends strengthening collaboration and coordination through strong public-private-partnerships

publication date

  • 2013