General Manager for the company Charlie Leaper says despite some challenges the company has now picked up with production of mango puree which has found its market in Europe and other countries in Africa like Zimbabwe and South Africa with their biggest customer being CocaCola.
Leaper said the company has employed over 270 Malawians and buys mangoes from local farmers in Salima as one way of supporting them.
He said Malawi Mangoes has its own Mango farms of over 220 hectares and also harvests mangoes from over 5000 smallholder farmers who are based in Salima.
Leaper said the company so far is producing around 1000 tonnes of Mango puree and disclosed that there is high demand for Malawi Mangoes in foreign markets especially in Europe and in a year makes about half a million US dollars from exports.
The General Manager said Malawi business environment is conducive and the future of the company looks bright.
“We see Malawi business environment as an opportunity; we see real business potential especially in agriculture perspective,” narrated Leaper.
Malawi Mangoes uses drip irrigation which is the brain child of Green Belt program tapping water from Lake Malawi, an initiative started with late President Professor Bingu wa Mutharika. The current administration under President Arthur Peter Mutharika is also championing Green Belt with an aim of turning Malawi from a predominantly consuming and importing nation to a producing and exporting one.
Malawi Mangoes Farm Manager Michael Mtilatila described the Green Belt initiative as essential and viable as it has transformed the communities in Salima.
“The Green Belt is assisting in the provision of employment; almost 99% of workers at Malawi Mangoes are Malawians. The initiative at Malawi Mangoes also provide technical know how to smallholder farmers and University students from LUANAR who regularly visit the farm,” said Mtilatila.
The company’s business model is to source large volumes of fruit from a mixture of smallholder farmers and from its own fields. On the corporate social responsibility Malawi Mangoes has transformed and empowered the communities by among other things the construction of boreholes, road networks among others.
Malawi Mangoes Company aims at becoming the first large scale fruit processing facility in the country in the next 5 to 10 years.