Authored by: Andrew Eder
(Above: Project Peanut Butter, a Malawian company that is receiving assistance through the African Alliance for Improved Food Processing).
Henry Gaga is a Food Technology Specialist with TechnoServe in Malawi. In that role, Gaga works with the African Alliance for Improved Food Processing, a program funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development that TechnoServe is implementing in Kenya, Malawi, Tanzania and Zambia in partnership with Partners in Food Solutions (a nonprofit created by General Mills, with core members Cargill and DSM). Gaga translates the needs of small and medium-sized food processors in Malawi, and identifies where PFS volunteers can assist them to improve operations. This work has identified the potential for further development of the burgeoning processed food industry in Malawi.
Prior to his work with TechnoServe, Gaga was an independent agro-processing and marketing consultant and a Lecturer on Food Science at the Bunda College of Agriculture in Malawi. He received an MSc in both Agricultural Economics and Food and Nutritional Science from Tuskegee University in Alabama.
Q: Describe the current state of the processed food industry in Malawi.
Gaga: The processed food industry is still young and growing. There are only 35 food processors in Malawi. Small and medium-sized businesses represent the majority of food processors in Malawi.
These small and medium-sized food processors represent 4.5 percent of Malawi’s GDP. In terms of annual revenue to the Malawian economy, small and medium-sized food processors contribute $115 million to $117 million per year, mostly in the processing of cereals, cassava, potatoes and soy.