The country’s leading coffee processor and exporter, Mzuzu Coffee Planters Cooperatives Union Limited has said it plans to invest K1 billion in primary processing of the coffee beans as a way of up scaling production of the lucrative commodity.

FaceofMalawi speaking to the company’s Operations Director Bernald Kaunda in an interview at the company’s headquarters in Mzuzu confirmed of the development saying that the World market prices of coffee have also picked up to record levels this year.

Kaunda said the K1 billion has been invested in primary processing machines with focus on quality assurance.

“The country has huge potential in coffee as an export commodity because of the levels of demand out there,” said Kaunda.

He, however, complained about the lack of support of the industry by government

According to Kaunda, Mzuzu Coffee produced about 400 metric tones last year and that prices now are as high as US$5.5 per kilogram, saying this is the highest price in recent years.

The company, which exports about 95 percent semi-processed coffee out of its annual production, will continue to invest for upscale of production.

According to Kaunda, the company has started exporting some fully processed coffee to China where it has been sending 20 tonnes of packed coffee per month.

“It’s an exciting development because the earnings are far much better when you export fully processed coffee. If that market picks up, it will be good for the company,” said Kaunda.

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ZIMENE MUMAKONDA

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