Commecial growing was concetrated in Thyolo and Mulanje
Participation by Malawian Coffee Farmers concetrated amongst smallholders with less than 200 trees per grower.
Coffee growing amongst Smallholder was through cooperatives.
By 1946 a coffee Coopeartive was formed.
Coffee growing slowed down due to Wilt disease that wiped out coffee industry.
Coffee introduced by missionaries was ARABICA VARIETIES
2 THE PRESENT
The coffee industry is still divided into ESTATES AND SMALLHOLDER SUBSECTIONS
2.1 ESTATES SUBSECTOR
Still confined to the Southern Malawi in Thyolo, Mulanje, Zomba and Mangochi
High input production system promoted with yields of between 2 and 4 mt of green beans per hectare.
Irrigation is practiced by many Estates.
Most of these Estates don’t take Coffee as their major crop; Tea, Macademia and Tobacco are their major crops.
Production from Estates has dropped from 6700 mt in early 90’s to current 1000 mt.
Within the Estates Coffee is grown in altitude that range between 900 and 1200 mt above sea level.
Only 5 Estates are active now with very small holdings, SABLE FARIMING is the only major coffee producer currently
QUALITY from this sector is good but not yet reaching the SPECIALITY MARKET.
2.2 SMALLHOLDER SUBSECTOR
Currently there are between 3000 and 4000 Smallholder Coffee farmers organised into 6 Cooperatives: MISUKU,PHOKA,VIPHYA NORTH, NKHATABAY HIGHLANDS, SOUTH EAST MZIMBA Cooperatives in Northern Malawi and NTCHISI EAST Cooperative of Central region
The Cooperatives have formed MZUZU COFFEE PLANTERS COOPERATIVE UNION headquartered in MZUZU, NORTHERN MALAWI.
The Sector produces between 350 and 450 mt of coffee annually.
More new plantings are taking place.
The Sector has received alot of Doner support for the past 10 years.
Production is characterised by high field mortality rates of Coffee trees due to inadquate use of Fertilizers, ie Organic and inorganic.
MZUZU COFFEE, poduced by this sector has hit the Worlds Coffee speciality markets of JAPAN, EUROPEand AMERICA.
Has consistently obtained premium prices on the market.
Coffee is grown in altitude of between 1200 and 2500 mt above sea level.
3 POTENTIAL FOR MALAWI COFFEE INDUSTRY
Under Smallholder Coffee Sub-sector, more Cooperatives can be promoted to cover new districts of Ntchisi, Mchinji, Dowa,Dedza, Ntcheu,Neno, Zomba,Mangochi etc.
Between 10000 and 20000 ha. can be developed.
More Commecial farms ranging between 10ha to 500 ha can be developed in potential districts.
Apart from Cooperatives, contract farming can be promoted by interested Investors.
Malawi has good Coffees, but volumes have been low.
MINISTRY OF AGRICULTURE needs to profile all areas that can be dedicated for coffee development. This can be done together with MALAWI TRADE AND INVESTMENT CENTRE through short term Consultancy.
Currently, the country only produces around 1500 mt of Coffee annually, this can move to between 20,000 and 30,000 mt if investments are made.