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Government must listen to good advice—MCCCI

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KAPONDAMGAGA—Government needs to encourage farmers

Malawi Confederation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (MCCCI), has criticised the government for not taking heed of advice from the Chamber and other stakeholders.

This came out during the official opening of the 16th national agriculture fair at the Trade Fair Grounds in Blantyre Wednesday.

The fair is being held under the theme, ‘Agriculture Commercialisation: Basis for Agri-based Industrialisation’.

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Delivering his speech during the opening of the fair, MCCCI President, Prince Kapondamgaga, said the government should learn from experts in the field.

“I can give the example of the Control of Goods Act which was passed by Parliament last year but whose regulations are not in place yet. Besides, the Special Crops Act and the Agriculture (General Purpose) Act are being reviewed at a snail’s pace by the Ministry of Agriculture.

“These laws constitute stumbling blocks to the growth of the agriculture sector. Sometimes we get dejected as stakeholders when our advocacy goes unheeded, and yet we know it is the right advice,we therefore, expect that this time around the government will act with sincerity,” Kapondamgaga said.

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Commenting on the theme, Kapondamgaga said they believe that agricultural commercialisation, such as taking agriculture production to a level beyond producing for own subsistence consumption, is the conduit through which agriculture can turn into a formidable industry.

Minister of Agriculture Irrigation and Water Development, Kondwani Nankhumwa who opened the fair, said the government was fully committed to improving the agriculture sector’s performance for increased food, nutrition and income security.

He said this will help in achieving overall economic growth and reducing poverty in this country.

“The government continues to allocate more resources to the sector, in line with the Maputo Declaration of 2003 and as upheld by the Malabo Declaration of 2014. Government is making all efforts to enable the country to graduate from primary industry; the success of these efforts will depend on performance of all stakeholders in the agriculture sector,” Nankhumwa said.

A recent report released by the Reserve Bank of Malawi has shown that agriculture’s contribution to the country’s Gross Domestic Products has fallen from 30 percent in 2010 to 27.1 per cent this year.

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