The Farmers Union of Malawi (Fum) has warned that the input of the agriculture sector to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) will continue to decline if Malawi continues with its over-reliance on tobacco as a major foreign exchange earner.
Fum Executive Director, Prince Kapondamgaga, said changes in climatic patterns and resulting natural calamities necessitate a shift to diversify the economy as one way of boosting the sector’s contribution to national earnings.
“Today, it is mostly smallholder farmers that are producing and they are more vulnerable to the various shocks. Add to that the challenge of access to finances. In any case, when people talk of investing in agriculture, they are really talking about financing mechanisms and as things stand, there are many factors working against production,” said Kapondamgaga.
Kapondamgaga said empowering farmers with stable and reliable funding would help improve productivity and the quality of produce.
He further suggested that there was a need to create sustainable market structures for local products as farmers continue to face challenges in accessing markets for their commodities. Agriculture remains Malawi’s mainstay supporting about 85 percent of the population.