About Malawi

Established in 1891, the British protectorate of Nyasaland became the independent nation of Malawi in 1964. Malawi is a landlocked country sharing borders with Mozambique, Tanzania and Zambia. Lake Nyasa or Lake Malawi, some 580 km long, is the country’s most prominent physical feature, stretching nearly the whole length of this lush country.

Coffee growing started in the early 1930’s during the colonial rule. National Coffee production reached its peak of 7,700 mt of green beans but this has been dropping over time due to poor prices. Most estates replaced Coffee with either Macadamia or tea. Generally, estates have taken coffee on part time basis. Currently national production is around 1500mt of which smallholder  production contributes almost 27%.

There is room for increased production of existing crop like coffee since land is available. It is estimated that almost 10,000 hectares of land is available for coffee production in the country. If massive investment was to be made in this sector, coffee production can easily reach 30,000 mt realizing forex of
between 100 and 180 million US Dollars annually.

The lowest point in the country is the junction of the Shire River (before it joins the great Zambezi) and the international boundary with Mozambique, where the elevation is just 37 m above sea level, and the highest point is just above 3,000 metres at Sapitwa on Mount Mlanje.

Lilongwe, the capital city, is situated in the centre of the country, but prior to 1975 Zomba, on the edge of the plateau, was known as the “most beautiful capital in the Commonwealth”.

The economy of Malawi is predominately agricultural, with about 90% of the population living in rural areas. Agriculture accounted for nearly 40% of GDP and 88% of export revenues in 2001.

Interestingly, the Arabica coffee grown in Uganda today originally came from Malawi and is still referred

Malawi Coffee

Type of coffee: Arabica
Volume (2014/15 In thousand 60kg bags): 15
Growing areas: Country wide
Marketing system: Tender
Processing: Wet processing
Harvest season: April – September
Port of shipment: Lilongwe
Export destinations: South Africa, Switzerland, Germany,
United Kingdom

Did you know…?

Malawi coffee is smooth and full bodied, slightly floral.

AFCA Chapter


Mackson DK Ng’ambi
Chief Executive Officer, Mzuzu Coffee Planters Cooperative Union Ltd
P.O.Box 20133, Luwinga, Mzuzu 2
Phone: +265 888 868 210