Expanded Partnership to Help Businesses in Malawi Improve Food Security and Safety
The expansion of the Alliance for Inclusive and Nutritious Food Processing to the country will allow food processors to weather the COVID-19 crisis and increase production of safe, nutritious food
Arlington, VA — This week, the U.S. Agency for International Development and nonprofit organizations TechnoServe and Partners in Food Solutions (PFS) announced the expansion of the Alliance for Inclusive and Nutritious Food Processing (AINFP) to Malawi. The three-year, $1 million program in the country will provide tailored technical advice, sector-wide training, and improved access to finance for Malawian food processing firms.
As the manufacturers of products such as fortified flours, edible oils, milk and yogurt, and therapeutic foods, food processors are vital for ensuring food security and adequate nutrition, and they also provide markets for local farmers and employment for workers. In Malawi, however, the processing sector suffers due to limited technical and business capacity, inadequate access to financing, and poor linkages to both farmers and base-of-the-pyramid consumers. As a result, it has struggled to consistently produce safe, high-quality foods that can compete with imported products.
COVID-19 has created additional challenges for the region’s food processing sector, as well. In a survey TechnoServe carried out in July, for example, 68% of food processing firms across Africa reported experiencing lower sales due to the pandemic. But the pandemic has also made the work of local food processors and food systems more important, as the supply chain for fresh and imported produce has been disrupted by border delays, travel restrictions, and other measures enacted to slow the spread of the virus.
AINFP will carry out a number of activities to help food processors in Malawi to weather the current crisis, improve the quality and safety of their products, expand their operations, contribute to better diets and nutrition for base-of-the-pyramid consumers, and generate additional economic opportunities for farmers and workers.
The program will provide individualized technical assistance to 36 firms, harnessing the expertise of TechnoServe staff and the employee volunteers from PFS’s member companies—General Mills, Cargill, DSM, Bühler, Hershey, Ardent Mills, and The J.M. Smucker Company —to help solve the firms’ greatest technical and business challenges. AINFP will also provide sector-wide training on key themes to 400 participants. Finally, working with ISF, the program will facilitate at least $300,000 of financing for Malawian food processors.
The expansion to Malawi marks a major milestone for AINFP. Launched in 2018, the program has provided technical assistance to 57 food processors and sector-wide training to 218 businesses in Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania and Zambia.
“The current crisis has shone a spotlight on the importance of food processors to food security and nutrition,” said Jonathan Thomas, Chief of Party for AINFP. “We are excited to expand this innovative initiative to Malawi and work with stakeholders across the country to strengthen the food processing sector.”
TechnoServe is a leader in harnessing the power of the private sector to help people lift themselves out of poverty. A non-profit organization operating in 29 countries, we work with hard-working men and women in the developing world to build competitive farms, businesses, and industries. By linking people to information, capital, and markets, we have helped millions to create lasting prosperity for their families and communities.
Founded over 50 years ago, TechnoServe has been named the #1 nonprofit for fighting poverty by the ImpactMatters charity ratings agency.
About Partners in Food Solutions
Partners in Food Solutions, a consortium of leading global food companies – General Mills, Cargill, DSM, Bühler, The Hershey Company, Ardent Mills and The J.M. Smucker Company – is working to strengthen food security, improve nutrition and increase economic development across Africa by expanding and increasing the competitiveness of the food processing sector. We link corporate volunteers from our world-class corporate partners who are experts in their field, to share their expertise and experience with promising entrepreneurs in twelve African countries.
The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) is a catalytic actor driving development results. USAID advances global food security by helping families and individuals meet their need for a reliable source of quality food and sufficient resources to produce or purchase it. This, in turn, supports global stability and prosperity. By addressing the root causes of hunger, USAID is increasing economic opportunity and growth among vulnerable communities.