Feasibility study on the development of cotton by-products in Malawi

Study conducted with the financial support of the Enhanced Integrated Framework

Malawi is a highly commodity-dependent country where commodities represented 92.3 per cent of merchandise exports in 2018-2019, increasing from 90.4 per cent ten years earlier.

Agriculture accounts for 31 per cent of GDP but employs 76 per cent of the workforce. Women represent more than half of the agricultural workforce.

The agriculture sector, comprising estate and smallholder farming, accounts for almost 90 per cent of export revenue.

The four leading commodity exports are:

  1. Tobacco
  2. Tea
  3. Sugar
  4. Cotton

The objective of the report is to provide a feasibility assessment on the development of cotton by-products in Malawi. It highlights opportunities with regard to the use of cotton byproducts in order to stimulate discussion among key stakeholders towards improving the livelihood of smallholder farmers.

The feasibility assessment will provide the basis for requesting technical and financial support to develop cotton by-products as prioritized through a national validation process.

It includes the analysis and mapping of stakeholders involved in cotton by-product value chains with growth potential, as well as the analysis of the policy environment, looking at the actual and potential bottlenecks, and the opportunities presented by cotton by-products with respect to their contribution to poverty reduction, inclusiveness, and gender equality.