AGCOM gives hope to Malawi – Expert

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The world anti-smoking campaign is to hit Malawi hard as the country relies on tobacco as a major forex earner hence the need to have an alternative economic activity that can replace the green gold.

Malawi is a country that is far away from being a dominant exporter of manufactured goods therefore farming is still a viable way to sustain the economy. However, unfavourable economic atmosphere and climate change pose a risk to its effectiveness.

The country has many small scale farmers who struggle financially in producing crops for subsistence and commercial purpose with nowhere to get financial support.

Amid all that, introduction of Agriculture Commercialization (AGCOM) Project for Malawi with a sum of $95 million by World Bank gives hope to the country’s economy as disclosed by an economic expert Joshua Mbewe.

Having in mind the role that infrastructures play in economic activities, roads are to be built to ensure accessibility as the project will be implemented.

Tobacco

The tobacco market could be affected by the anti smoking campaign.

AGCOM project which targets 70 000 farmers and 300 producers will involve producers (farmers and farmer producer organizations), buyers (processors, retailers, exporters, and aggregators), and financial institutions that will be lending to the agribusiness sector in the country.

Women and the youths are the most eyed by the project as they share a large population of Malawi hence their role is likely to bring significant change to the economy.

“The approval of AGCOM is a welcome development for our country and this is a better platform where we can lay a foundation of national agricultural value additional.

“If channelled to reliable agricultural investments our economy will improve and a lot of jobs will be created. We are on an exit door from depending on tobacco as our major forex earner because if AGCOM is well utilized Malawi will be exporting high quality value added products which in turn will bring a lot of forex,” said Mbewe in an interview with Malawi24.

He further called for a need to have a team of technical experts that is to ensure the funds are directed to the intended purpose.

The project whose funding is from the World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA) is expected to close in 2023 and will be implemented under the joint leadership of the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development and the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism.

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