Malawi’s economy can only be fortified if enough focus is put on agriculture by turning it into a fully-fledged business institution thereby spurring the country’s export base, says President Arthur Peter Mutharika.
He was speaking on Thursday in Mangochi when he officially opened this year’s Economics Association of Malawi (ECAMA) annual general conference held under the theme “Agricultural Transformation and Value Chain Development for Sustainable Economic Growth”.
“Your choice of the theme of the conference could not have been better. Agriculture remains the anchor of our economy for the moment. It is the one economic sector in which every Malawian can participate,” he said.
He further highlighted the need for value addition as a crucial aspect of economic growth.
“We should empower our people by adding value to the produce of their labour. With value addition, we are certain to turn Malawi into a predominantly producing and exporting economy,” said the President.
The Malawi leader refused to be downcast with what others call economic problems, rather he offered a positive forecast in relation to annual trends.
“The economic situation is not worsening, and must not be allowed to get worse. The fundamentals of the economy are stronger today than they were 12 months ago. Certainly, headline inflation is high granted the 24.1 percent as at September 2015; yes, 1.1 percent higher than the previous month.”
“But, this is only 0.4percent higher than the same period last year. If you look at the numbers closely, on a year-on-year basis, it is the food inflation which is hitting us so hard now,” he said hence vindicating his earlier sentiments calling for an industrialized and fully-commercialized agricultural sector.
He then advised ECAMA to continue playing a positive advisory role on economic issues for Malawians to benefit from association’s services.
ECAMA is a forum of economists in Malawi and other interested parties that analyse economic-related issues and provide evidence-based policy advice that aims at improving economic management.
It was formally launched in 1999 as a voluntary membership organisation comprising a pool of professional economists from across the country and abroad.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :