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REPUBLIC OF MALAWI

ADDRESS
BY
HIS EXCELLENCY PROF. ARTHUR PETER
MUTHARIKA, PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC
OF MALAWI
DURING
THE INAUGURATION OF THE BALAKA
COTTON GINNERY

BALAKA
18th JANUARY, 2016

Your Excellency, the First Lady, Madam Gertrude


Mutharika;
The Vice President of the Republic of Malawi,
Right Honourable Dr. Saulos Chilima; and Mrs
Mary Chilima.;
The Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water
Development,

Honourable

Dr.

Allan

J.

Chiyembekeza, M.P.;
Ministers,

Deputy

Ministers

and

Senior

Government Officials here present;


The Speaker of Parliament, Right Honourable
Richard Msowoya, M.P.;
The Chief Justice, Right Honourable Nyirenda,
SC;
The Indian High Commissioner to Malawi
The Board Chairperson of ADMARC, all Directors
of the Board, and ADMARC Management;
The Management and staff of Balaka Cotton
Ginnery;
Ladies and Gentlemen.

Cotton production and processing is one of the oldest and


most important industries of Malawi. The opening of this
ADMARC Cotton Ginning factory is a symbolic return to
Malawis path to industrialisation.
Yes, we are launching Malawi back on the path to
industrialisation. There was a time we were closing down
factories; closing industries; closing exports; closing jobs.
This is a time we are building factories, opening industries,
creating exports, creating jobs. This is the time to make
Malawi a producing and exporting nation.
And, those who say Democratic Progressive Party is the only
party that can develop Malawi understand exactly what we
are doing. They know what they are talking about. If you
cannot believe them, then I ask you to believe in your
country. Believe that we are capable of developing this
country.
The history of cotton is one of those inspiring stories that
tells you that Malawians can make this country thrive with
manufacturing and industries. It is a story of inspiring
national pride.

Long before we were colonised, Malawi had growing


manufacturing and thriving industries. Before colonialism
brought Western civilisation, we knew how to grow cotton
for commercial purposes. In some parts of the country, we
grew cotton and went farther into ginning, spinning and
manufacturing cloth. By the way, Africans were making
cloth many centuries long before Western civilisation
came to Africa.
Locally,

particularly

in

the

Lower

Shire,

we

were

manufacturing even the machila cloth which we used to


carry azungu. Azungu amagula.
In those days, communities of the Shire Highlands would
dig iron ore and smelt it to make iron metal in clay
furnaces.

Our

own

grandfathers

and

grandmothers

manufactured iron hoes, axes, knives and spears. We must


remember

this

manufacturing

and

industrious

spirit,

especially now when Malawi is preparing to start extracting


precious minerals from our rich soils.
In those days, other communities specialised in making salt
around Lake Chilwa and as far as Kasungu. Our precolonial economy revolved around the exchange of cloth,
iron products and salt.
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Cotton has always played a critical role in the economy of


the country. We are now developing this cotton industry.
Today, cotton is one of the most important cash crops in
Malawi. It ranks fourth as a foreign exchange earner for the
country after Tobacco, Tea and Sugar. And we want to
upgrade the position of cotton.
Cotton processing creates jobs. We are establishing these
cotton factories because we want to create jobs for
Malawians at home. And we are adding value to our cotton
through ginning, yarn manufacturing, weaving, producing
cotton textiles, and producing oil and animal feed within the
country. I want us to export products, and never export
jobs.
The DPP Government has made it a decisive point to
diversify sources of our economy. And our commitment to
promote the cotton industry is a dream that lives on. You
remember that just before Bingu died, we allocated MK1.6
billion in the 2011/12 budget to boost cotton production in
the country. We wanted to help small holder farmers to
produce more and better quality. We want us to produce
more, manufacture more, export more, and create more

jobs. Now the DPP is back, and we are back for good to
continue driving our commitment to our national dream.
It is our national dream that this cotton ginnery, like the
other two, will continue to enrich the cotton industry. The
factory will increase local farmers income around Balaka
and beyond. Yes, this factory will create jobs to local people.
This ginnery alone will provide employment to about 3,000
people directly, and several more hundreds indirectly
around Balaka. I promised that we would create jobs and
this is what we are doing! I dont promise what I cannot do.
Honourable Minister, Ladies and Gentlemen, I am aware
that our farmers in the cotton industry are currently facing
some challenges. There are some cotton seed buyers who
take advantage of our farmers. These are people who want
to reap more than the farmers who labored in the rain, and
toiled in the sun.
But we all know that cotton production is an extremely hard
job. We cannot continue to exploit our hard working
farmers. Any exploitation of our farmers must stop at once.
If we catch you, Im sorry! We will deal with you unsparingly
according to the Law! Everyone must earn what they
deserve. Our farmers must earn what they deserve. And
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you, as an investor, you must earn what you deserve, but


not by exploiting others. This time, we are watching you!
I am also pleased to note that Government has instituted
the guardian of the cotton industry. We now have a Cotton
Council of Malawi. This Council is mandated to regulate the
development of the cotton industry. This Council is our
eyes. With this Council, we can now protect our farmers
and investors better than ever. This Council was established
by an Act of Parliament of 2013. Now Government has
appointed Directors of the Board to make this Council fully
operational. They are now recruiting a full time secretariat
of the Council. And here is my message to the Board. We
want to do things differently to achieve phenomenal results
in the cotton industry.
This is good news to all you cotton farmers. You now have a
guardian to protect your interests. This Council is your
guardian. You are no longer orphans. This is also good news
to investors. The sector will now be properly regulated, and
we must all play by the rules. I hope the regulation regime
will ensure fair competition so that you can earn as you
invest. I want farmers and those who invest in the industry
to be happy in the end.
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But to our farmers, I have this earnest appeal. Manage your


cotton

very

well.

Follow

recommended

agricultural

practices. For those of you who did not grow the crop, I urge
you to grow cotton this coming season. Let us produce and
process more cotton, more than ever.
And to ADMARC, let me say well done and congratulations.
Apart from this Ginnery here in Balaka, you also have a
Ginnery at Ngabu in Chikwawa, and another at Ngala in
Karonga. You have taken the path to industrializing the
agricultural sector.
Let me also use this opportunity to thank the Indian
Government through Your Excellency, the Indian High
Commissioner to Malawi, for the Line of Credit that
provided the funding for this factory. And I want to
recognize Apollo International for the job well done in the
construction and installation of this ginnery. With partners
like you, our drive for investment is moving forward.
And we will never return, face backwards, or falter until we
have

transformed

this

country

with

investment

and

industries. For that is how we create jobs, create wealth,


create products, and make Malawi a producing and
exporting nation. That is our vision! That is our dream!
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That said, I declare this Balaka ADMARC Cotton Ginnery


officially opened and commissioned.
God bless you all and our beloved nation.