The country’s production output from all industries has been projected to grow to K7.9 trillion by next year, according to national accounts figures from the Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM).
According to the figures, the agriculture, forestry and fishing industry will have the highest growth at K1.8 trillion while the mining and quarrying sector will have the lowest growth at K55.7 billion.
The growth would came from K6.5 trillion in 2017, K6.8 trillion in 2018, K7.1 trillion in 2019, K7.2 trillion in 2020 and K7.5 trillion in 2021., it is expected to reach K7.9 trillion, in 2022 representing 5.4 percent growth rate.
However, University of Malawi-based Economics Professor Ben Kalua rated the projections as unrealistic, saying there are a lot of bottlenecks to growth of the economy.
He added that decisive moves needed to be made quickly in the agriculture sector if the country were to have things to export which can propel growth.
“It is very unclear whether, come next year, we will have tangible things to export unless we move very quickly on cannabis cultivation which we have not been aggressive on, despite other countries benefitting from it,” he said.
Malawi is an agrarian economy heavily depending on exporting raw agricultural materials, with tobacco being the main export earner supported by tear and sugar.
Economic commentators have been advising the government to channel its energy towards manufacturing and the small and medium enterprises sectors as resilient anchors for growth.
Minister of Industry Roy Kachale said the government has in place policies that will clear bottlenecks such as access to finance, markets and training.
Kachale added that, on the manufacturing sector, the government is addressing fiscal issues such as taxes which seemed to hinder the industry from having a conducive environment.
“We are also working with Malawi University of Science and Technology where they have set up the Malawi Institute of Industrialisation and Innovation where we will make sure that we innovate and add value to raw materials to sell quality finished products,” he said.
The Covid pandemic has ravaged economies, forcing them to slash their growth projections.
Justin Mkweu is a fast growing reporter who currently works with Times Group on the business desk.
He is however flexible as he also writes about current affairs and national issues.