Economic experts have hailed the visit by Malawi President Joyce Banda to one of the country’s major tobacco leaf exchange the Lilongwe Auction Floors as a stamp of approval to get prices rising at the market.
Getting into its second half of trading, the tobacco selling season was earlier dogged by price wrangles between the peasant growers and the buyers leading to suspension of sales on several occasions.
“This is a good omen. She has sent a message that Malawi is serious to see the anchor of its economy handled diligently and those producing it benefitting,” said one high street bank economist.
Following 49 percent devaluation, Malawian tobacco farmer is hoping to rope in some heads of Malawi Kwacha home, however the value of those note may be dwarfed by a waiting inflation on the market.
“Meanwhile we need to applaud what President Banda has done. She was more diplomatic in her address without being insensitive to the buyers knowing they have choices, but at the same time siding with her people that positive change is what her government is looking for,” said another analyst.
Agriculturists have immediately lobbied the Malawi leader to quickly advocate to crop diversification by promoting non-traditional crops that do cart in a lot of dollars whose market is still unsatisfied in India and the Middle East.
“We need to give licenses to local commercial farmers, great incentives like backed government loans , machinery and expertise to operate and grow on contract non-traditional crops and only export finished or polished products which are of high value,” Fred Manda Managing Director for Crop4us Malawi said.
Tobacco accounts to over 40 percent of Malawi’s foreign exchange earnings with capacity of employing over 67 percent of the country’s farming families, anchoring multibillion kwacha industries such as commercial banks, farm input and agro dealers and transport industry to mention a few.