Secretary to the Treasury, Ben Botolo, has called on the private sector and Malawians to focus on commercial farming and intensive irrigation so as to grow the country’s economy.
Botolo said, following the weather shocks experienced in the country recently, Malawi has experienced food shortages, thereby relying on donor partners and well wishers for assistance.
He said the private sector needs to take advantage of situations across the globe and export products that are needed in other countries.
“As government, we have priorities in the Malawi Growth and Development Strategy (MGDS) III and these ones will be looked after well. We also have the Shire Valley Transformation Project, which will transform the way we do business. Through this project, the government intends to change the way business is done from small scale farming to commercial farming,” he said.
Botolo added that the country needs to do massive irrigation using our own resources in the Shire River.
“Last year, we produced enough, but not enough to export and this year, we have these disasters. These problems will be happening not only in Malawi but other regions as well. However, as a country, we failed to capitalise on the food deficits experienced in other countries, because our production is never enough for export,” Botolo said.
He said in this modern world, what Malawi needs to have are deals and volumes to sustain contracts.
“Let us not make the whole country a cry baby. Let’s increase volumes of our products, create markets within the region. In that way as traders, private sector, you will not be complaining of high exchange rates.
“From the private sector, what can we do for this country, what can we do on value chain, which products do we have that can be exported. If we analyse all this and come up with export products, then we will stop complaining about each and everything,” he said.
Botolo said how the economy performs will hinge on how the private sector responds.