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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stacia nordin

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)


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.

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… Read more »

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)

Ngoma, Thomas, London
Ngoma, Thomas, London
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… Read more »

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???

Baba wa Boyi

Always admiring others and not even trying.

Malawi is full of IDIOTS

Che Wanimiliyoni

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.

Luswilo Mwachande

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.


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

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… Read more »

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