Time to di­ver­sify

ChinAfrica - - Africa Report -

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.

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