Time to diversify
It’s clear that with the drop in demand of tobacco worldwide, Malawi needs to look elsewhere for revenue and should not have all its eggs in one basket.
Felix Jumbe, a farmer and legislator, said the tobacco planting industry has stagnated and there is need for diversification.
Jumbe, who is former president of the Farmers Union of Malawi, said the government should help farmers diversify into animal husbandry, legumes or other cereal crops, which are helping farmers in other countries to earn money.
“International commodity markets are there for these crops and Malawi can benefit a lot. The biggest problem is that our economy is not investing, but consuming,” he said.
AHL Group has also called for crop diversification. Joseph Kawinga, Floor Manager of AHL Group in the northern town of Mzuzu, also appealed to farmers to plant crops that can fetch better prices than tobacco.