Umodzi Party plans to replace tobacco with Sunflower as Malawi cashcrop

The newly registered Umodzi Party (UP) dreams big of turning the country into rich nation by creating about 200, 000 local billionaires and replace the country’s major forex earner, tobacco with Sunflower, which is believed could triple the green-gold’s annual revenue.

UP is run by its interim president Professor John Chisi, a lecturer at the College of Medicine in Blantyre.

In an exclusive interview with Nyasa Times, days before the party holds its first public rally in Nsanje district, Chisi his party has better ideas, under what he called feudalism system, to spin the country’s fortune.

Chisi said his party plans of establishing National Development Bank (NDB) through which it will ably create about 200,000 local billionaires through well-managed loans.

Chisi: Umodzi Party leader
Chisi: Umodzi Party leader

“Through the bank, we will be able to secure donor funding to provide loans to finance young entrepreneurs with varied business plans. It will be through such loans and business plans that we will create billionaires who, in turn, will be able to offer jobs to thousands of Malawians,” explained Chisi.

Under the feudalism, Chisi said the country’s wealth would successfully trickle down to grassroots levels, adding based on same system, his party would create noble-men in form of chiefs to help run the affairs of the government.

Chisi explained: “Under feudalism, the government will be based at district level and chiefs (T/As) will be turned into noble-men who will be surrounded by people with technical expertise to assist them in development their specific areas. It’s the system that will ensure the country is developed and government systems are simplified to the benefit of everyone. It’s the system that will replace the current dependency syndrome that forces people to worship politicians”.

Feudalism is a social system that existed in Europe during Middle Ages in which people worked and fought for nobles who gave them protection and the use of land in return. It’s a political organization system that prevailed from the 9th to about 15th centuries.

Chisi further said UP was considering of finding a long-term replacement to the country’s green-gold and major forex earner, tobacco by adopting Soya and Sunflower that can tract major markets world-wide.

Tobacco counts for more than 70 percent of the country’s exports and 15 percent of Growth Domestic product (GDP). This year it earned the country $361 million more than double last year’s sales.

“Sunflower has market everywhere in the world, and it can triple the amount of forex we generate from tobacco. Most of all it is a type crop that can be reserved for a long time unlike tobacco. We have the resources to turn our country’s fortune around, and everyone can afford to have a decent life,” he added.

UP is a 48th party to be registered in the country, which has main players in the form of People Party (PP), Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), United Democratic Front (UDF), Malawi Congress Party (MCP) among others.

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