Investment conglomerate Lonrho has signed an agreement with the Malawi government's Airport Developments Limited (ADL) subsidiary to develop a coldstore and packing facility for fruit, vegetables and flowers at the country's Lilongwe International Airport.
The company, which is listed on the London Stock Exchange, said the deal would also incorporate the establishment of a 100ha agriculture development in Lilongwe.
"The facility will provide the necessary infrastructure for the Malawian agricultural sector to commence international exports of agricultural produce and flowers," said Geoffrey White, Lonrho's chief executive officer.
The project expects formal agriculture to supply 30-40 per cent of the plant's volumes, with the remainder sourced from local farmers.
"The agricultural sector in Malawi has grown considerably in recent years and the level of production by local farmers clearly provides the opportunity for export," added Mr White. "The development of an international standard agri-processing facility, in conjunction with a large agricultural project, will provide benefits to the wider agricultural sector in Malawi."
Lonrho will pay a nominal ground rent for the 100ha farm and the site for the new facility. The new facility will be located with direct access to the airport apron for ease of handling and will be located at the existing logistics terminal at Lilongwe International Airport. ADL will receive a royalty payment in relation to the turnover of the new business.