Goodall tells Malawians to dump tobacco, grow legumes: Strategy for economic rebound

Finance minister Goodall Gondwe has challenged Malawians to grow legumes instead of tobacco in a bid to turn around the ailing economy.

Goodall (right) at Mount Soche hotel during tea break of PAC meeting

Goodall (right) at Mount Soche hotel during tea break of PAC meeting

Gondwe said this in an interview Thursday after he presented a paper on the state of the economy at the just ended all inclusive Public Affairs Committee indaba.

“We now need to introduce legumes, we need to encourage our farmers to grow a lot of legumes, they are fetching a lot of money on the market,” said Gondwe.

The economy is going through turbulent times with inflation rate and bank interest rates record high and the kwacha sliding fast against the dollar.

Gondwe said legumes can earn the country’s much needed forex, saying that is the only crop the government is banking on to turn around the ailing economy for the better.

The Finance Minister was also upbeat that inflation would go down after harvest, saying the government commissioned estates to grow maize on a larger scale, saying this would help bring down food prices as well as inflation.

He said intensive economic and financial reforms taken by the government in the past six months clearly show that Malawi can stand on its own without the budgetary support.

“It is possible to locally fund the budget. We have lost the budgetary support but these have to be made up by ourselves,” he said, adding “we will have to work extra harder.”

He said the government has invited international economic and financial experts who will work with local experts on how best to expand the tax base.

Gondwe therefore said Malawians should not despair and lose hope.

“We have done a lot in the past six months. We are sympathetic with the people, we understand why they have lost hope because we are in the middle of economic problems,” he said.

He said President Peter Mutharika asks the finance minister every week on the state of the economy, an indication he said, the head of state is equally concerned with the status quo.

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26 thoughts on “Goodall tells Malawians to dump tobacco, grow legumes: Strategy for economic rebound”

  1. Legumes are healthier for the soil and people, and becoming good for the economy as well. Here are a few legumes to consider:
    1. Groundnuts (Mtedza)
    2. Bambara Groundnut (Nzama)
    3. Bean, Common (Nyemba)
    4. Field Peas (Sawawa)
    5. Chick Pea (Nchana)
    6. Soy Bean (Soya)
    7. Lenti (Masar)
    8. Mung Bean (Mphodza)
    Hardy vines
    9. Cowpea (Khobwe, Nseula)
    10. Hyacinth Bean Mkhunguzu
    11. Lima Bean vine (Kamumpanda, / chimbamba)
    12. Velvet Bean (Kalongonda) – Prepare with CARE
    Trees / Shrubs
    13. Pigeon Pea (Nandolo)
    14. Hissing Tree (Mbula)
    15. Indian Almond (Mkungu, Bonifant)

  2. Dzombe says:

    We don’t eat politics. We eat food. It’s high time we value agriculture in Malawi. Stop wasting our time with empty talks. Mitu yathuyi muli ubongo ngakhale kuti simutiona ngati Ndife anthurium.

  3. Cashgate1 says:

    Time each one of us we take our responsibilities. Stop pointing all fingers at govt alone, but probably we can all start paying taxes, stop giving births as if we at competition, infact government should tax each of the baby that will be born from now, stop staying idle in town and all what we know is kuitanila mabus and kuyenda bawo instead of kumakalima, Chase away all beggers in streets and let them concentrate on a meaning personal development. Stop Stop and Stop. By the way govt should ask Dr B Kamchacha how rice, I mean our good rice can replace tobacco if grown at a larger scale. Too much politics with tobacco and too much power invested in buyers to decide what price to buy the commodity, making farmers losers in the whole process.

  4. Malanda says:

    A Malawi thawi zambiri timalakhula ngati tikulota,a Goodall tayakhulani ngati Ndinu akulu oti mungathandize a president,ma china akazati muyambe ulimi wa a Galu umayenda malonda kwambiri Ku ulaya muzasiya kuweta mbuzi,nkhuku,ng’ombe,Always our leaders acted like khope bird,zoti tili anthu ophunzira ndikhamba mkamwa.Kwapita mpheto nkomweko a goodall(khope)

  5. Ngoma, Thomas, London says:

    This old economic school of thought that a country must choose what to produce, how to produce etc is misguided and holding Malawi economic growth back. The modern economic growth paradigm is not a “zero sum game” that tobacco production must lose for legumes production to win. Orchestrating sound and rapid economic growth for Malawi demands that all sectors must be firing on all cylinders. Malawi by now really should have been exporting over a billion dollars worth goods. That is best achieved by maximising production of all commodities i.e. tobacco production, legumes production, cereal production, cotton production, e.t.c as well as boosting services and manufacturing economic sectors.

    Let me give evidence for this assertion. Top tobacco producing countries in the world are 1). China – 3,148 million tonnes, 2). Brazil, 3). India 4) US…….7) Malawi – 133 million tonnes according to UN Food and Agriculture Org. Top legumes (Ground nuts) producing countries in the world are 1). China 18.8 m tons 2). India 3) US etc. Top machine tools manufacturing countries are 1). China 2). Japan 3) Germany, etc according to recent machine tools report. Here we see China pushing production throughput across board thereby benefiting in terms of huge net export trade surplus and a whopping GDP of $11trillion compared to Malawi’s GDP of (eh sigh…..!.) $0.0043 trillion. I rest my case, QED.

    Our generation is determined to fix this economic mess and build a prosperous future for all Malawians with low interest rates, low inflation and stable exchange rates based on sound and balanced macroeconomic fundamentals. We will transform the means of production in this country to eliminate hunger, poverty and all the economic ills our people are suffering today.

    Please reconsider the advice. Thank you.

  6. Bodza says:

    Which type of legumes are you talking about Mr Minister sir..??? and which market are you referring to here sir??? which crops officer has cheated you about this low thinking sir ?? am afraid Malawi can not do better with legumes and more especially done under rainfed agriculture… just imagine that Japan is a giant in car manufacturing but it also takes a big role in legume production and export…and better quality soybean, Azuki beans and other beans, which legume Mr. Minister will Malawi champion?? Khobwe???

    1. Baba wa Boyi says:

      Always admiring others and not even trying.

      Malawi is full of IDIOTS

  7. Che Wanimiliyoni says:

    Not even the regumes are a way to go if we have to revamp Malawi economy for any country can grow groundnuts, beans, soya, etc and they are just like tobacco prone to droughts. The way to go is to develop our tourism industry in Mulanje, Mangochi, Salima, Nkhatabay and Likoma. Let us borrow say one billion US dollars from World Bank to upgrade roads, marine vessels, bay-jetties, resorts and airports leading to these areas to attract tourists. Am sure we can pay back the loan within 75 years and leave a strong economical footing for our grandchildren.

  8. Luswilo Mwachande says:

    This man expired as an economist long time ago. He is a relic of old school macroeconomic management. As long as we have such characters in charge we will be recycling ideas that have failed.

  9. kamalo says:

    zachamba mukasiya kulima fodya ndi anthu angati omwe angavutike? shut up

  10. Chambe says:

    Gondwe is absolutely right. He has yet to give a strategy to protect farmers. The fact that farmers are exploited by many: Indians, the businesses which have no clue about farming etc is so disappointing. Just check on indexmundi about the commodity prices. You will be shocked to see that pigeon peas can fetch as much as US$1075 per ton and this is what these Indians and these other vultures fetch from India.
    Can this encourage a local farmer to increase his production just to make some idiot rich? No. That’s why we should not be surprised to see our exports far much outweighed by our imports because of this unfairness to those who contribute economic productions.

  11. That’s the way to go. Small scale tobacco farmers have suffered enough yet opindula ndi azungu. Let’s grow plenty legumes. This is in line with the MALAWI NATIONAL EXPORT STRATEGY. Google and download and go through if you really love Mother Malawi.

  12. chiwa kogoya says:

    You old man we are tired of you and your blood dement govt just resign or else we’ll top you up ! when have started thinking about regumes? just get out and disappear we don’t want to see you ok! tilowatu mtchire mwamva!

  13. Nangantani says:

    Before I can invest my capital into nyemba, khobwe and nandolo, I want to know Mr Minister what marketing structures you have put in place to ensure that farmers are protected from exploitation by indians and chineese. Mind you before 1994 tobacco farmers were protected by an act of parliament before Bakili who knew nothing about farming came in and destroyed the system under your advice Mr Minister.

  14. Kajiso says:

    Mbofyo! Mbofyo woyeeeeee!

  15. LessChildrenPlease says:

    This guy is not serious. Is he really knocking the main forex earner for the country? When the international price of legumes changes, will he be advising something else? I thought it was cotton last year? Oooh I despare!!! Just control your import demand. We should not be importing more than we export. Public expenditure shold be reduced to match our pocket. You are the economist, work out the details!

  16. leonard says:

    GG mukonza kwacha ya agwa kwambiri, anthu sanga lima ma fertilizer akukwera mitengo chifukwa kwacha kuagwa, mu mpereka fertilier subsidy tiyambe kulime ma legumes

  17. Khodoba says:

    You are right Mr Dunderhead Minister of Agriculture (???Finance???- which is which) under the wise and dynamic leadership of HE Dunderhead Clueless. Where were the legumes last year. Trial and error with GOVT? Goofs you guys yet you had a manifesto. Zakanika pitani nobody will miss you

  18. john phiri says:

    oooh no we need to grow more gays. dull government no solution at all

  19. Matandani says:

    What I know in Malawi is that expanding tax base is taking away more moneys from local Malawians. Politicians get millions yet they are not on PAYE list – selfish people, yet somebody who gets only MK30000 is deducted PAYE. KUKAMA YOONDA!

  20. Ophiri says:

    Dont take him seriously..thats what old men say.They talk gibberish……
    Tell Peter there is nothing he is doing…

  21. Ontologist says:

    The path to financial independence is hard, there is light at the end of the tunnel. Soon we will discover how best to survive without donor aid…. I have hope in this government we are moving towards economic independence, sovereign respect. The road is narrow and painful all we need is to endure. The other problem is we need to cut our hunger for unnecessary imports.

    Few months ago the government was saying we have Forex cover for 6 months nevertheless within 2 months Forex was depleted. Meaning we increased our hunger for imports.

    We only see the end product of the problem ignoring where it originates. For example health crisis in hospitals. Some of these problems are caused by poor public health. Malawians are fed expired goods by some shops, Malawians are fed chickens with full of chemicals, Malawians eat a lot of uncertified foods by MBS and Cama does not check shops if they are selling expired goods or not. Malawians are fed genetically modified foods all these in one way they cause some of these diseases.

    Malawians themselves the indulge themselves in self destructive behaviors they are not responsible for their health they expect the govt to be responsible for them.

    Lets solve the problems bottom up not middle up.


  22. Bololo says:

    I hope he also spoke about controlling waste in government which goes on unabated, by the president, vice president, cabinet ministers, PSs all the way down to bawo players.

  23. ulemu says:

    So the Minister of Finance is now the Minister of Agriculture?

    1. Kanthu Ako! says:

      So it’s OK to blame him for everything, but it’s not OK for him to talk about everything? What idiots Malawians are.

      Unfortunately you are not the only such person.

      No one talks about Minister of Agriculture not doing his job.

  24. mbani says:

    resign old man why clinging

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