By Mike Van Kamande:
Indian High Commissioner to Malawi Subbia Gopalakrishnan says India has waived the 50,000 metric tons quota for Malawi pigeon peas to enable the country export as much pigeon peas as it possibly could.
Speaking on Thursday when he paid a courtesy call to the minister of trade and industry Simplex Chithyola Banda, Gopalakrishnan said Malawi can now export any amount of pigeon peas without any restrictions.
“Malawi and India bilateral trade relation hovers at around USD250-290million a year with a trade balance of 60:40 in favour of India. We are looking at ways to enhance trade and relationship between the two countries which dates back to decades ago.
“We have cordial people to people connection with over half a billion dollar assistance through loans, grants and investments such as cotton, Salima Sugar Limited, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Institute among others. We have a lot of Indian companies that have invested in Malawi,” he said.
He said the Salima Sugar Limited is the only successful Indian Sugar company in Africa.
In his remarks Minister of Trade and Industry Simplex Chithyola Banda said he was grateful to the Indian Government for lifting the quota not only on pigeon peas but also other agricultural produce.
“India’s offer to Malawi of quota free exportation of farm produce is a welcome development. It promotes pigeon peas aggregation and development and ready market for other crops such as soya beans and macadamia nuts.
“India also helped Malawi with fuel storage reservoirs and we need to have a comprehensive MoU to cover all Malawi agriculture produce such as soya beans and macadamia nuts,” Chithyola said.
Last year soya beans and macadamia grossed over USD100million while 68 metric tons of pigeon peas was exported to India.