President Peter Mutharika has removed tax on first ten tobacco bales and has assured farmers that they will experience good prices this season.
Mutharika announced this Thursday during official opening of this year’s tobacco season at Kanengo Auction Floors in Lilongwe.
Addressing people who attended the event, Mutharika said his government focuses on boosting smallholder farmers so that the country should continue to realize more profits from farming.
Among other things Mutharika mentioned during the launch include exemption of tax on first ten tobacco bales, reduction of fertilizer prices, plantation of factories in rural areas and the establishment of village banks so as to ease loans access to small holder farmers.
“Farmers bring the most currency to build the country’s economy. Remember that our economy is founded on farming; our industries are founded on farming. In Malawi most children who go to school and attend universities the source of their school fees is farming and it is therefore imperative for us to secure smallholder farmers. I say unto you this morning that no tax on first ten bales with the immediate effect,” Mutharika explained.
As the campaign is at chorus phase, Mutharika could not end his speech without taking a swipe at MCP.
He told the crowd that he and his brother Bingu wa Mutharika fled the country in fear of being slaughtered by the MCP regime.
Mutharika further revealed that Tanzania rendered the two a good refuge staying free from be attacked by the MCP government.
President of the Republic of United Tanzania John Pombe Jeseph Magufuli who delivered his speech in Swahili was the guest of honour during the commissioning.
He called upon Malawi government to bring some more crops on board that will help in bring forex for the country.
Magufuli bemoaned that most of the African countries have been experiencing price fluctuation saying this has been affecting farming in Africa.
Magufuli mentioned Tanzania as one of the countries that once got affected by the price fluctuation.
However, Magufuli commended the government of Malawi for showing a profound interest in moving farming forward citing Green Belt Initiative as a good example.
“Agriculture is important in African continent looking at the contribution it is making to the economies. Despite this we have perceived that Agriculture has happened to encounter a lot of challenges which include poor technologies and most of our farmers do not use improved means of farming.
“Another issue is that African countries have watched our farmers struggling to accumulate capital to venture into meaningful farming. But I would like to commend Mutharika for his effort being put in Agriculture sector. For instance Green Belt Initiative, hooray Mutharika!” Magufuli narrated.
President Magufuli then expressed hope that his visit has cemented a bilateral relationship that is between the two neighboring countries.
During his two day visit to Malawi, Magufuli had discussions with the Malawi leader on different aspects including doing trading between the two countries.
On the opening day at the tobacco market, tobacco pricing on auction was going at one dollar 25 cents and 2 dollar 30 cents for contract farming.
Government is expected to launch more markets which include Mzuzu, Chinkhoma and Limbe soon.