An economic and business expert has said there is still hope for Malawi farmers if they start focusing on other cash crops like cotton to replace tobacco which is facing a threat of being banned.
Recently, the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET) released a report which indicated that Malawian farmers have reduced the area for planting tobacco and cotton due to consecutive poor marketing and losses incurred during the consecutive years of drought.
Speaking to Malawi24, one of the economic and business experts in the country Joshua Mbewe said the future is not rosy for tobacco farmers due to the global anti-smoking campaign but farmers need to diversify the crops in order to replace tobacco.
He added that though cotton failed to fetch better prices on the market last year, the future is still bright as demand for cotton is still high globally.
He further said that there is need for Malawi to review some trade policies on cotton and other drought resistance legumes.
Malawi is an agro based economy hence due to climate change and other factors, the economy is failing to grow.
”We have been talking of mining replacing the agricultural sector but the pace we are moving is not convincing at all, we are fond of talking than action,” he said.
Mbewe further said that the issue has been talked about for 10 or more years but nothing has been happening.
He also said that there is need to draw new framework on agriculture and put better strategies to suit the current generation as most times authorities just claim that the country is an agro based economy but nothing has been done to support the agriculture sector on economic growth perspective.