Malawi agri sector on track – Lowe hails Dzombe for his enthusiasm
By Gracian Lungu
Minister of Agriculture Lobin C. Lowe, MP, has assured Malawians that his ministry is the track of turning back Malawi into a real agrarian nation as visioned by the President of this country as he sees more potential and enthusiasm in many players prying their trade in Agriculture sector.
Speaking at the School of Agriculture and Family Independent on Wednesday morning, Lowe commended the Malawian farmer Dr Napoleon Dzombe of Mtalimanja village in Dowa as a man who has a great vision and much enthusiasm for Malawi as he is playing a significant role in transforming the lives of many people through Agribusiness.
The Minister further pointed out that it’s high time Malawians considered a paradigm shift of stopping being tenants for foreigners who are doing agro processing as value addition to our agro commodities and start investing more in a diversified Agriculture to increase production and productivity like promoting other high value crops like rice, bananas, tomatoes, cassava, mangoes not only depending on tobacco and cotton as cash crops.
Malawi as an agro based economy, is loosing much to foreigners who are doing more on value addition from our own products and this makes most unscrupulous foreign traders making hefty profits yet most producers are in abject poverty.
He added that farmers need to have good access to extension services and be organized to form coorporatives for easy access of loans and readily available profitable markets and he urged all the delegates present to borrow a leaf from what Dr Dzombe is doing in line with Lazarus Chakwera’s call for working very hard and also prospering together by integrating smallholder farmers in important areas that can help uplift individual’s social economic status.
Speaking on this function, Dr Napoleon Dzombe emphasized much on being faithful to funding institutions as a catalogue to creating a trust that lures more investors to invest into your developmental plans.
Dzombe highlighted that it is very worrisome that Malawi is importing bananas from Tanzania and oranges from South Africa yet through irrigation system, Malawians can grow these fruits right here in Malawi.
Malawi is endowed with land suitable for both rain-fed and irrigated Agriculture but the Agricultural sector operates far below its potential and the country is facing food shortages, high level of poverty, and marketing challenges for agro commodities. In addition to these, there is another critical area of value addition to agro commodities from which Malawi can boost our economy.