The Malawi Investment and Trade Centre (MITC) website has information about various Malawian exports, their markets and potential markets. Studying the charts keenly, Biznews discovered that the warm heart of Africa has ignored the massive potential of exporting pepper.
Currently, Malawi exports pepper to the United Kingdom, Botswana, Mozambique, South Africa, Spain, Germany and Italy. However, the charts reading show that there is a greater demand than what is supplied in these markets, suggesting that Malawi should consider growing more pepper or have exclusively pepper farmers altogether.
The United Kingdom is a good example of a market with a great demand for pepper with a dissatisfying supply from Malawi. The chart reads that exports worth $8,800 (MWK 6.6m), yet there is an untapped potential to export pepper worth $137,200 (MWK102.9m)
On the other hand, the pepper exports seem to favor African Markets; for instance, exports to South Africa earn $410,600 (about MWK 307.9m) meeting the demand. Perhaps Malawi prefers selling to an African market, considering transportation costs/risks. Regardless, there is need for Malawi to diversify its agricultural exports, considering that there is an overwhelming competition in the trade of maize, sugar, cotton, tobacco and cereals.
The MITC home page contains a testimony of a Malawian Chili sauce manufacturer that was enlightened about more markets by MITC. Throughout the story, it is evident that farmers are not venturing outside of the usual because they are not aware of the markets. Even worse; theses farmers think there are no markets, but the featured testimony shows that MITC is attempting to let farmers know about various markets