Agribusiness Development: Malawi

In its first year, CDI's warehousing program will accept and store up to 500 metric tons of maize, soya, and groundnut from smallholder farmers.

CDI identifies business opportunities along agricultural value chains that will create opportunities for farmers. CDI is currently developing a agribusiness warehousing project in Malawi. In its first year, CDI's warehousing program will accept and store up to 500 metric tons of maize, soya, and groundnuts from smallholder farmers.

Warehousing

Smallholder farmers are constrained by the seasonality of their agricultural income and inadequate post-harvest storage. As a result, crops are stored in farmers' homes where insects, rats, mold, and moisture can easily result in high crop loss. Additionally, high interest rates, lump sum payments, or other emergencies force farmers to sell when prices are lowest. CDI is addressing the need for post-harvest storage by building and operating community grain bulking centers. These community warehouses will provide safe and secure crop storage; allow farmers to monetize their harvest at strategic times in the year; provide access to cash year-round through warehouse receipts; enable farmer organizations to aggregate larger volumes, improving leverage with buyers; and serve as collateral against bank loans, providing additional security to lenders. In the first year, the warehouse will accept maize, soy, and groundnut from approximately 2,000 smallholder farmers. Upfront and ongoing training will be provided to staff to ensure that crops are properly stored, accurately graded, and conform to export quality standards.