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Government should consider the plight of farmers

There is no way one can plant grass and expect it to grow healthily without watering it.

It was very refreshing to note that the government, though late, had accepted that tobacco can no longer be relied on as a mainstay of the country’s economy.

With all the proposed international bans, lack of a sustainable market as well as substandard available produce, farmers were encouraged to diversify.

Now that the farmers have diversified, where is this produce being sold?

To top that off, this is a song that has already been sung.

Intermediate buyers take advantage of farmers each season and government promises it has measures to get rid of this problem.

Not to get the issue wrong, it is a commendable step that the government took to promote diversification but a very important point of where the produce is to be sold was forgotten.

Without these markets, the farmers are making way lower than they invested.

This is shown by what Northern Region farmers are experiencing. They are victims to intermediate buyers, who buy the produce at lower prices and there are no established markets to allow them to flourish in their trade.

The Ministry of Agriculture and the government need to seriously learn how to not just implement policies and leave it to the people they intend to serve to meet their fate.

It is high time the entrusted authorities took note of the suffering citizenry as well. Hard work is only hard work if one can reap its benefits.

If this sing-along-song goes on year in, year out, our farmers will continue to suffer, another useless subsidy will be introduced and Malawi will have less revenue than it already has.

As the saying goes, the grass may be greener on the other side but it will only remain so if the grass is watered.

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