On February 3, 2016, the efforts of USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub to establish Agricultural Storage Investment Facilities (ASIF) in Malawi resulted in the inception of an Inter-Ministerial Committee to improve coordination among the various Malawian government agencies responsible for authorizing investments in agricultural storage.
During the committee meeting, which was chaired by the Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Trade and Industry, the Trade Hub provided the government of Malawi with a review of successful models of special economic zones used by other emerging countries as well as recent developments in select African countries to support investments like ASIF.
The Permanent Secretary voiced appreciation for the support of USAID’s Southern Africa Trade Hub in facilitating this initiative and acknowledged that the resulting public-private partnership is key to the socio-economic development of Malawi.
Informed by the ASIF initiative, the Inter-Ministerial Committee adopted a resolution for the government of Malawi to commence a review of its existing incentives framework to attract local and foreign investment by improving its competitiveness in the region through inter-governmental coordination, fiscal and non-fiscal incentives. The committee will remain in place to improve coordination as well as achieve these competitiveness goals, supported by officials from various relevant ministries.
Photo: The planned new storage facilities could save tons of maize as post-harvest losses are reduced from an average of 20% for maize stored outside warehouses to only 1% loss of goods stored in warehouses, putting more money in the pockets of smallholder farmers (Click on the image above, or this link - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rgJIMwy_HJM - to access a short video on ASIF in Malawi)