Vetiver farmers in Nkhotakota now have a market for the crop's roots, following the opening of Tickbird essential oils factory in the district.
The factory, situated in Mtambalika Village, in the area of Senior Chief Mwadzama, will be extracting essential oils from Vetiver grass roots for perfume production.
Speaking at the opening of the factory, Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Madalitso Wirima hailed the initiative, observing the development was in line with the Malawi 2063 agenda of making the country an exporting one.
She said, “This investment align very well with the Malawi 2063 agenda where agriculture is featuring highly most especially on industrialization and commercialisation.”
Wirima observed that the coming in of such investments means the country could now have products for export to earn forex.
She said was pleased that the factory was situated in a rural area and the crop was simple to produce for the community as well as get employment opportunity.
United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Resident Representative, Shigeki Komatsubara, said his organisation established the Malawi Innovation Challenge Fund (MICF) to support Malawian young entrepreneurs.
He said the aim to MICF was to help the entrepreneurs create innovative businesses values in Malawi for Malawi.
“So far, together with other business experts, we have supported 53 companies in Malawi in various business areas.
“Already 350,000 people have benefited through increased income besides creating 2000 new jobs” Komatsubara added.
He said currently UNDP was discussing with partners on how they could scale up the kind of support so that they could support the youth and companies having good ideas to have their dreams come into reality.