When you travel on M1 road from Lilongwe to Blantyre or to any other destination in the south or either way you cannot make it without having a stopover at Tsangano to buy vegetables and fruits such as carrots, Irish potatoes, tomatoes, beans, peaches, apples and guavas.
This is not Tsangano as people say rather its Tsangano Turnoff. This is the place where the journey to Tsangano starts. The distance from Tsangano Turnoff to Tsangano Trading Centre, known to locals as Kungoni, is 65km.
Tsangano is in Ntcheu west constituency along the Kirk Range and connects with Neno road at Gochi 2 Village near Chilungamo market on the Mozambican side.
The whole of Ntcheu West constituency is under the jurisdiction of Inkosi Mpando of Maseko Ngoni. And more importantly Tsangano proudly houses the Office of President and Cabinet, Ministry of Lands offices and an Agricultural research station. I don’t know if the Chief Secretary to the government is aware of this very important office.
Tsangano is on the high altitude of the Kirk Range with cool and low temperatures throughout the year. The cool climate makes the area more conducive to horticultural and olericultural activities hence more fruits and vegetables at Tsangano turnoff.
Tsangano climatic conditions also favour the growing of other crops such as maize, wheat, sweet potatoes and tubers.
Most farmers grow Irish potatoes but because of the bad state of roads, transportation of different things such as agricultural produce is quite expensive. Due to the road’s bad state, it takes you 3 hours to cover this stretch of 63km.
This road has a lot of national economic values, for example if the government constructs this road it will reduce the transport costs of the agricultural produce which will also affect the price of the commodities in other markets.
The road is a catalyst of economic growth because horticultural activities are done all year round. Malawi being agro based economy, cannot only depend on one cash crop, we need to diversify and explore other avenues of growing the economy. High transport costs affect the price of commodities which also affects the inflation. Whether one likes it or not Tsangano feeds Malawi.
In March 2015, people of Neno petitioned the government to construct Neno road which the communities feel is in bad state. Whatever is grown in Tsangano also does well in Neno. Neno grows a lot of Irish potatoes and wheat in the highlands of Mtemankhawa, Matengo, Kachere Kundembo, Kalimedzako, and Malambo while the low areas around Boma such as Ligowe, Nyakoko, Ntayanyemba, Kambale and Matandani grow vegetable and fruits such as Tangerines and Mangoes.
Government should consider constructing Tsangano road and connect it with Neno road if we are to register significant economic growth.
Our future inflation statistical rates will be positively affected by this road. We have countless reasons for the construction of Tsangano-Neno road.