An overview of spice production, promotion, and economic benefits in Malawi

Phiri C., Alimoso N., Mabedi F., Chitedze G.

Journal of Crop Improvement, 2024 (ESCI) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Review
  • Publication Date: 2024
  • Doi Number: 10.1080/15427528.2024.2336265
  • Journal Name: Journal of Crop Improvement
  • Journal Indexes: Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, Agricultural & Environmental Science Database, Biotechnology Research Abstracts, CAB Abstracts, Environment Index, Food Science & Technology Abstracts, Veterinary Science Database
  • Keywords: climate, Cropping system, infrastructure, market links, value addition
  • Çukurova University Affiliated: Yes


The cultivation of spice crops in Malawi represents an underutilized opportunity to drive substantial economic growth. A variety of spice crops grown in Malawi include chilies, turmeric, ginger, pepper, coriander, masala, cardamom, paprika, and cinnamon. These are mainly sold locally, and the surplus is sold to the international markets in an unprocessed form. Spice production is limited due to a lack of suitable climate, improved seeds, poor soil fertility, prioritization of other crops, poor market infrastructure, poor market link, and lack of government support. Spices are not a priority for farmers in the country as they consider them unprofitable, but with prioritization, they can be a gateway to economic growth. Spices can be integrated into different cropping systems, especially in the organic farming system. This can provide a solution to the high demand for organically produced products which fetch premium prices. Malawi can increase spice production through proper research and development from seed development up to the consumer in the crop value chain. Spices can be processed into a variety of products primarily for flavoring or coloring food to improve palatability and taste. Mostly, local markets are flooded with imported packed and branded spices, while local spices are not. Thus, this needs action. Malawi has new potential markets from the neighboring countries, online platforms, processing, and packaging industries which need value-added processes such as processing, packaging, and branding. Good collaboration with other stakeholders will strongly strengthen the spices value chain in the country.