On Monday, Deputy Minister of Agriculture Madalitso Kambauwa commissioned essential oils company called Tickbird, which is a K800 Million investment in the area of Senior Chief Mwadzama in Nkhotakota District.
The company is founded by a British citizen Luke Dolby.
Kambauwa described the company as unique since all the heavy machines are running on 15 KV Solar generated power and is extracting essential oil from local vetiver glass which is sourced from almost 800 local farmers.
Speaking during the event Kambauwa said through such an investment Malawi will have a source of forex as well as creation of job opportunities.
Kambauwa encouraged more companies to invest in more agricultural products.
Kambauwa said the opening of the company is clear indication that the country is on the right path towards achieving Malawi 2063 agenda.
She commended Tickbird officials for flying all the way from UK saying they have demonstrated total commitment.
“Your presence today in witnessing the official opening of Tickbird Essential Oil factory here in Nkhotakota District is a clear testimony of your total commitment to the strategic alignment of the countries vision 2063.”
She said the country has been caught unawares because no one expected that Vetiver can be used to extract oil.
“All along, we as a country have been caught unaware that we can gain more from vetiver glass apart from its usual purpose of controlling soil
erosion and being used for thatching houses.
“This is an eye opener to many farmers who are not aware of the benefits one can get from vetiver glass and I am so optimistic that your coming will help farmers utilize this opportunity,” said Kambauwa.
The Deputy Minister then spoke on the need of adding value to products in order to fetch more price.
“Value addition helps farmers to fetch more prices on both local and international market so the coming in of this company is a blessing to our nation and good example of value addition,” he said.
Kambauwa said Farmers will be financially empowered especially with the win-win approach that the company has adopted.
Tickbird Essential Oils Managing Director Dolby said the company will encourage transparency between farmers and Management. He said the company will ensure that its 800 farmers are well taken care of saying they have already given each farmer a tablet phone for easy communication.
Dolby said Vetiver, apart from changing soil can change people lives since is on high demand internationally.
The coming of this company is in line with Government agenda of job creation. For starters Vetiver is a perennial grass and it’s name is derived from Tamil name “Vetiver”.
Vetiver has wonderful health benefits and medicinal uses and is used extensively in hair and skin care and in home remedies too.
Vetiver root is the most used part of the plant and vetiver root water made by infusing the root in water reduces anxiety, inflammation and it also helps treats and prevents acne.
Vetiver oil from the roots also have wonderful medicinal uses.
Vetiver is native to India and both it’s leaves and roots have wonderful uses. It is cultivated in states like Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh and to a small extent in Uttar Pradesh.
The investment in mention is in line with what President Dr Lazarus Chakwera said during state of National address in Parliament where he said his priority on Trade and Industry Development is to encourage more companies come and invest in Malawi through various intervention among other interventions include completion of the development of the National Export Strategy (2021-2026) to increase exports as a percentage of GDP from 14.6 percent to 18 percent as well as ratification of the African Cantinental Free Trade Agreementh which will enable the cauntry to access to Africano continental Free Trade Area with its products and finally completion of the construction of a One-Stop Border Past at the Mchinji/ Mwami-Zambia border which will ease delays and congestion.