Saturday, October 25, 2014
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Poor Policies Draining K395bn Annually

LILONGWE: Malawi is losing about three billion US dollars per year due to poor policies and lack of technology support in the agriculture industry.

Farmers union of Malawi President Felix Jumbe says the money is enough to off-set the current forex shortage that has paralyzed the country.

The statistics shocked the participants into realizing that the agriculture industry is sitting on the much needed forex that has led to persistent fuel shortage in the country.

For example, the farmers union president said currently maize is grown on 1. 732, 371 hacters but current production is only 3, 895, 181 metric tonnes yet if the farmers were supported with modern technology the same land could produce 8,661,885 metric tonnes.

This means that Malawi is failing to produce an extra 4,766, 674 metric tonnes translating into a loss of 166, 833, 590, 000 Kwacha per year on maize only.

When this loss is added to other crops like Soya, Rice and Beans - Malawi is losing 549, 602, 110,000.00 Kwacha an equivalent of 3.2 billion US dollars.

Mr. Jumbe said the statistics were obtained from ministry of agriculture crop production estimates.

Asked what support the farmers would need to utilize production, he said there was need to support marketing infrastructure systems, production support systems, technology support and financial support.

The meeting has brought together farmers, buyers, bankers and raw material producers.

Farmers Union has a membership of 87 farmer associates and 400,000 farmers.  - Zodiak Online

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