During the week of June 8, 2015, USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub facilitated a second mission by the European Investment Bank (EIB) to Malawi as part of the Trade Hub's Agricultural Storage Investment Facility (ASIF) initiative. The EIB had previously visited Malawi in late January and reached an in-principle understanding with market participants for a deal to finance agricultural warehousing through a facility provided to a well-placed Malawian commercial bank for on-lending to end beneficiaries.
Field trips took place to the Mwandama community, a rural community close to Zomba in the Southern Region of the country, as well as to agribusiness storage and processing facilities in Limbe (Blantyre). With the support of ACE, the visit to Mwandama (part of the Millennium Villages Project) helped crystallize the development impacts that can arise from warehousing investments. Access to storage, backed by access to finance and markets through the ACE warehouse receipt system and commodity exchange, has helped Mwandama develop its own small-scale agro-processing capability, as well as its capacity to aggregate commodity and supply commercial offtakers for the benefit of farmers and the wider community.
The visit to Limbe highlighted how warehousing underpins the development of a stronger commercial value chain, creating agro-industries in Malawi that serve multiple value chains, generate significant local employment, and tap into export markets across the Southern Africa region and beyond. Further to this successful mission, EIB and its local partners are redoubling their efforts to finalize the transaction and unlock significant capital investment into Malawian agro-storage.
Photo: The EIB trip included visits with warehouse operators in both urban and rural areas, accompanied by a representative from the European Union delegation to Malawi