BT Cooperatives plead for electricity to add value to their products

Cooperatives

Cooperatives in Blantyre under One Village One Product have asked Ministry of Industry to engage authorities at Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom) to address lack of electricity for their facilities.

The Cooperatives made the plea during a fact-finding mission by the minister.

Chairperson of Makhamba Honey Cooperative, Dolce Steven called on the Minister to help expedite their connection to the electricity grid and the supply of equipment, which was promised to them in 2011.

Steven
Asked for grants: Steven

Steven also asked for grants and funding so the Cooperative is beneficial to the local community through adding value to their honey.

The corporative produces up to 100 litres of pure honey every fortnight.

In 2008, the cooperative had 31 people but the numbers have dropped to 11 people due to frustration over prolonged delivery of machinery.

Elizabeth Banda, Chairperson for Kuthembwe Sinjiro and Cooking Oil Cooperative narrated the same story of lack of electricity hampering their start-up.

Banda
Banda: We want to start up our machines

“We also do not have other essentials like source of water and enough capital, we are ready to start the machines working."

She said they have 20 members who are currently renting at the Trading Centre where over 200 kilograms of Nsinjiro is produced.

Minister of Industry, Roy Kachale has assured Makhamba Honey Cooperative and Kuthembwe Sinjiro and Cooking Oil Cooperative in Chileka he will engage the authorities to expedite the connection.

Machinery

Kachale said Malawi wants to be wealthy-inclusive nation and this starts with business cooperatives.

"We are touring cooperatives that have potential but have not been thriving to look at what their needs are to be productive.

“These building were constructed in 2011 and up to now have not been operational because they are waiting for electricity, that’s a huge problem.

Kachale

"We intend to got to Lilongwe, sit down with director in the Ministry of Industry, Ministry of Energy asks officials from Electricity Corporation of Malawi to see if we can expedite the connection of electricity in the factories in so doing uplifting the lives of people in these rural areas," he told the people.

Kachale inspects a borehole
Kachale inspects the water source which is none operational

He disclosed his ministry is looking for avenues for financing, markets and training in various aspect like bee keeping and oil extraction.