Rab Processors commitment to growing agribusiness in Malawi

Who are Rab Processors

Rab Processors is a large agribusinesses in Malawi, specializing in trading locally grown produce.

What was the challenge?

Post-harvest losses represent one of the biggest challenges smallholder farmers face in Malawi. Without proper storage facilities to hold their agricultural outputs, farmers are forced to sell their produce immediately after harvest to middle men at lower prices than waiting for better market prices later on in the season. Additionally, without proper intermediate storage conditions, farmers lose up to 40% as post harvest loss. Further, the lack of transport options limits the markets for which farmers can sell their harvest at good prices, which include staple commodities like maize, soybeans, groundnuts and various legumes. The issue is three fold; storage, losses during storage and market connectivity.

How was it addressed?

In response to this issue and recognizing the benefits of leveraging locally grown produce throughout the year, Rab Processors partnered with the Agricultural Commodity Exchange of Malawi to further extend the Warehouse Receipts programme from towns to rural areas. For a small charge, Rab Processors store the products for farmers by using spaces in their many local depots allowing the farmers to access the produce later in the year when they can get better market prices. Through the company’s extensive depot networks around the country, farmers can transport the harvest at cost effective rates to urban markets where they are likely to get better prices for their crops.

What are the benefits?

This programme benefits the smallholder farmers in a couple ways. Firstly, farmers can wait for more competitive prices. Secondly, they have greater access to credit through traditional forms of financing, since banks are able to issue financing to the farmers through a warehouse receipt. Rab Processors can take advantage of local produce year-round through their depots rather than having to buy an estimated amount during the post-harvest season. The ability to use their local storage depots
also saves on the cost of transport.

What are other outcomes?

The programme has proven successful for both Rab Processors and the smallholder farmers involved. Due to this overwhelming response there is a great need to set up proper warehousing structures in strategic areas of the country in order to take care of more farmers.

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