The Lilongwe SUN Market
A celebration of local and nutritious food
The Scaling up Nutrition Business Network organised a SUN Food market at the UN office in Lilongwe on 2nd July 2022.
The fair drew 27 SBN members from all regions of Malawi; small, medium and big companies, in Food and finance sectors.
The aim of the food fair was to increase visibility of private sector producing nutritious food across the country. Furthermore, the finance sector also participated through interacting with the food companies regarding their finance requirements needed to scale up their businesses.
The companies showcased and sold diverse nutritious products such as meats, fish products, fresh and dried vegetables, juices, peanut butter and jams, nutritious flours such as Corn Soya Blend and Orange fleshed sweet potato flour, as well as biofortified seeds such as maize, beans fortified with zinc, copper and protein.
The SUN Business Network in Malawi is convened by the World Food Programme (WFP). WFP believes that promoting local companies to produce affordable and diverse nutritious food has multiple social and economic benefits. It reduces import levels of food, encourages crop diversification, access to markets and consumption of nutritious foods. In his remarks, WFP’s Country Director said that “if we can have more foods produced locally instead of imported, the prices will probably go down. We would also like to get people in the rural areas to use more, in terms of more diversified crops; not just growing maize, growing beans, growing fruits and vegetables”.
Nonetheless, the businesses, especially the SMEs explained that for their businesses to be more impactful, they require support in penetrating markets such as clinics, orphanages, and centers for under 5 children that need the products. Furthermore, the businesses mentioned that they require investment capital for productive assets such as factory machinery and warehouses.
The participants felt that the SUN Food market was a great opportunity to exhibit their products to all the UN agencies, development partners and public at large who attended the event. As Enid Mauluka, the Managing Director of Enticing Products based in Blantyre explained, “I’m really grateful for the opportunity to participate in the Lilongwe Sun Market. People get to know my products, I made some new contacts, including suppliers and I made some sales too. Being in SBN is a chance for me to learn from other SMEs, improve our businesses and grow together”.