President Peter Mutharika on Wednesday, asked the Malawi’s private sector to attract investors in agriculture to recapitalize the industry for the country’s economic growth.
Mutharika made the remarks in Blantyre during the official opening of the l4th National Agriculture Fair, which will run from l6 to l9 August 2017.
“The private sector and civil society organizations are doing a lot in growing the agriculture sector through their vast skills, good innovation skills, and modern technologies. These are aspects that play a crucial role in boosting the economy of the country.
“I therefore, ask you [private sector] to explore innovative ways of attracting investors, including commercial banks, to invest in the sector in Malawi. The foreign investors can support us in the value chain to strengthen agri-business [in the country],” said the President.
I’m Malawi, agriculture is one of the biggest sectors that provides employment; however, in the past two years it has faced serious challenges ranging from unavailability of viable markets and low prices. Pigeon peas and maize are some of the crops that fetched reduced prices on the markets.
There are reports circulating that Malawi’s pigeon peas are currently facing unprecedented low prices because India, one of the biggest markets for the commodity, plans to impose import restrictions.
But the Malawi leader assured farmers that his Government would take the necessary steps to ensure that farmers have the opportunity to bargain for better prices for their exported produce; this would be for their benefit and also grow the national economy.
On his part, the President of the Malawi Confederation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (MCCI), Karl Chokotho, thanked the President for gracing the occasion; he said this would give farmers and traders the impetus to put more efforts in adding value to their commodities.
“As it is now, the trade balance is in favor of India,” he said.
During the function, trophies were awarded to Group Village Head Jumbe as the best farmer; Monsanto Malawi emerged as best input supplier; Department of Research Services in the Ministry of Agriculture won the prize of the best service provider; and National Smallholder Farmers (NASFARM) was awarded the best agro-processor award.
This year’s trade fair, which attracted 53 exhibitors, is being commemorated under the theme: ‘Unleashing Full Agricultural Potential; the Role of Markets.