Public calls for trickle-down effect on Malawi Kwacha gains

Some farmers and the Consumer Association of Malawi (Cama) have called on traders and service providers to be fair to members of the public and reduce prices due to gains that the Kwacha is registering.

Already the Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority (Mera) announced the decrease of fuel price .

Cama Executive Director John Kapito said despite the gains registered by the Kwacha being seasonal, authorities should use its arms and agencies to ensure that pricing of products and services are reflective to the value of the Kwacha.

“Much as we know that the gains being made by the Kwacha is temporary as it has been influenced by trading of a seasonal crop in this case tobacco, we feel government must use agencies such as the competition and fair trading commission to protect the public from exploitative pricing by traders because there cannot be any justification to cling to old prices and not reduce them,” said Kapito.

On the other hand former president of the Farmers Union of Malawi Felix Jumbe said it would be realistic if the gains by the kwacha are seen in the reduction of farm input costs such as fertilisers, seeds, animal feeds and insecticides.

Felix Jumbe: Fram inputs should be reduced
Felix Jumbe: Fram inputs should be reduced

“The increasing of value of the Kwacha must not be on paper only but the nation must see it in the going down of prices and it would make more sense if farmers’ benefit more through reduction of farm input prices as this is the group that is greatly contributing to the earning of the majority of Malawi’s foreign exchange,” said Jumbe.

As of Thursday the Kwacha was trading around K380 against the US dollar.

Malawi has been encountering several challenges which led to the instability of the local economy.

Due to this, the country only registered a minimal economic growth of 1.8 percent in 2012 against 4.3 percent in 2011 due to among other things, contractions in the agriculture and manufacturing sectors.

But government says through the Economic Recovery Plan (ERP) it would achieve quick development results by recording a growth of 5.7 percent come December 2013.

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