Warehouse Receipts Financing in Malawi

Project Development Objective (PDO)

The overall objective of this technical assistance project is to increase access to finance for value chain actors in the agricultural sector in Malawi by helping the government establish a legal and regulatory framework required for the introduction and scaling up of warehouse receipt financing.


Banks in Malawi are reluctant to lend to the agricultural sector for a number of reasons, but mainly because of the lack of collateral for loans. Therefore, using warehouse receipt financing (WRF) to unlock the collateral value of inventories managed by farmers, traders, and processors would help relieve part of the existing constraints on access to credit. To scale up warehouse receipt financing in Malawi, the country needs a full-fledged warehouse receipt system (WRS) backed by a proper legal and regulatory framework. With funding from the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program (GAFSP), a draft warehouse receipts bill has been developed under phase I of the project and is being processed for parliamentary hearing and approval. Authorities have requested support from the FIRST Initiative to develop related regulations.


The project aims to support the introduction of a robust WRS in Malawi, building on the draft WR law, through the following activities:

1.  Introduction of a regulatory framework for warehouse receipt financing 
     Develop WR regulations, conduct stakeholder consultation and dissemination workshops, and
     develop operational guidelines for a model of supervised private warehouse operations. 

2.  Training and capacity building of policy makers and regulators on warehouse receipt financing
     Build the capacity of ministries and of WRF regulatory authority to implement WRF. 

Expected Outcomes

The expected outcomes of the technical assistance project are as follows:

1.  Increasing access to financing for agriculture value chain actors

2.  Increasing wider adoption of WRF by financial institutions and adoption of industry standards and
     participation in WRF by licensed warehouses

3.  Enacting WRS regulations, thus enabling the development of innovative financial products backed
     by commodities

4.  Making industry-wide operational guideline and quality standards available for authorities,
     supervisors, and warehouse operators

5.  Providing support by trained ministry officials of the WRS and WRS authority regulators