By Steven Godfrey Mkweteza

Malawi Confederation of Commerce and Industry {MCCCI} has urged government to speed up the process of stabling the agriculture cooperatives bank. Speaking when he opened the 15th National agriculture fair in Blantyre on Wednesday, the country™s president peter Mutharika said his government would make sure that smallholder farmers in the country have access to capital and finance to boost their productivity through access services from the yet be established agriculture cooperative bank.

However, speaking during the stakeholder meeting on agro-industrialization held in Blantyre on Thursday, president for MCCCI Prince Kapondamgaga wondered why the process of establishing the bank is taking long. Kapondamgaga said government has for the past years promising farmers on the establishing of the agriculture cooperative bank but the plans have remained a song.

Mpongamgaga noted that access to capital and finance is one of the barriers to delaying agricultural promotion in the country Agricultural cooperative bank will be one of the measures to enable smallholder farmers to generate capital for sustainable productivity since they will be accessing loans. Therefore, there is a need for government to speed up the process of establishing the bank,? Kapondamgaga said

Felix Lombe, the executive director for African institute for corporate citizenship {AICC} said the country could not talk of agro-industrialization without looking at smallholder access to capital and finance. ? apart from this, country has also to look at the energy, transport and labour as some of the critical areas to boost agro-industrial? said Lombe.

Deputy Director for industrialization in the ministry of trade and industry clement phangaphanga said government is doing its best to establish the bank soon. Among others, Phangaphanga cited the warehouse receipt loans as one of the strategies.

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