Saturday, 15 June 2024

Trade and Industry Ministry assessing cyclone MSME damage

Blantyre, March, 18: Ministry of Trade and Industry says Cyclone Freddy has severely impacted on people’s economic livelihoods and development through destabilization of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).

Speaking on Saturday when the Ministry embarked on an economic damage assessment exercise of Cyclone Freddy on MSME in Chikwawa and Blantyre, the Minister of Trade and Industry, Hon. Simplex Chithyola Banda said Government is saddened with the severity of damage on small-scale businesses.

“We wanted to appreciate and assess the extent and impact of the cyclone on economic activities carried out by MSMEs and Cooperatives apart from sympathizing with survivors. The collected data will be analysed and will inform the sort of post-recovery initiative Government will undertake.

“Some MSMEs and Cooperatives members got loans from micro-financing institutions and to get restarted will need a moratorium or refinancing. As such, the Ministry will also be engaging Microfinancing Institutions to consider providing a moratorium for those MSMEs and Cooperatives impacted by the cyclone,” he said.

In an interview, one of the shop owners in Chilobwe said she lost all her merchandise to the Tropical Cyclone Freddy and doesn’t have any idea how she is going to service the loan she took from the micro-financial institutions.

“If truth be told, we small-scale business owners who lost our goods but at the same time took loans from micro-financing lending institutions are traumatized and live in fear of what will happen”

Earlier on Saturday, Chithyola Banda, appreciated how Shire Valley Transformation Programme (SVTP) is building resilience of farmers through organizing and training members of cooperatives in value chains and irrigation

Kambadwe Cooperative board chairperson Samson Bayd said SVTP is poised to transform the commercial landscape of Chikwawa through large-scale commercialized and mechanised irrigation.

 SVTP Agricultural Commercialization specialist Adrian Masobe said land consolidation, smallholder-owned commercial enterprises formation and agricultural commercialisation are some of the initiatives currently being undertaken in collaboration with the Department of Cooperatives and MSMEs in Ministry of Trade and Industry.

 “SVTP aims to enhance agricultural productivity and commercialization of the Shire Valley targeting 48400 households, 43000 hectares of land and benefitting 223000 people with an investment of $500million over a period of 14 years,” he said.

 

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2024-06-15 05:41

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Ministry of Trade and Industry,

P/O Box 30366,

Capital City,

Lilongwe 3,

Malawi.

Tel:+2651770244

Fax:+2651770680

Email: trademin@trade.gov.mw