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‘Government should be consistent with policies’

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Government has been asked to be consistent in implementing its policies as lack of coherence is affecting growth of the private sector.

The call has been made by the Malawi Confederation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry—MCCCI.

MCCCI President, Karl Chokhotho, said one of the inconsistent policies is the ban on maize exports, which is negatively affecting farmers in the country.

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Chokhotho argued that the ban on maize exports is a means of exploiting local farmers.

He said over the years, Malawians have been allowed to sell the commodity outside the country and farmers have been growing maize extensively.

He further noted that the repercussion is that markets will be overwhelmed by supply which will lead to a drop in maize prices.

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“This country is mainly driven by agriculture. In some years, we have been allowed to export maize. So you have a farmer who produces a lot considering that he will export and then there is a policy that says you cannot export. What that means is that there is huge supply on the market and it is not commensurate with demand, forcing prices to drop,” Chokhotho said.

Minister of Industry, Trade and Tourism, Joseph Mwanamvekha, though not specifically tackling the maize ban, said government is undertaking various reforms in a bid to make the private sector grow.

“We have the trade policy, the industrial policy and we have also introduced the Buy Malawi Campaign, all in a bid to foster growth of the private sector,” he said.

Recently, Speaker of Parliament and first Vice- President of the Malawi Congress Party, Richard Msowoya, expressed disappointment with government’s decision to put restrictions on maize exports.

He said the restriction is unwarranted because there is evidence that the country has surplus maize.

Government issued the restriction as one way of averting man-made hunger this year.

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