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Malawi government blames poverty on low productivity

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The government has pushed the blame on poverty levels in the country to minimal productivity by the private sector and non-productivity among Malawians.

World Bank data shows that GDP per capita, an average share of the country’s wealth among Malawians, is at US$255 which is the least in the world and a decrease from US$369.6 five years ago.

Among the neighbouring countries, Mozambique is second least at US$602 while Zambians are the richest with an average of US$1,654.

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Ministry of Finance spokesperson, Nations Msowoya said Malawi’s competitiveness on the globe is poor with high transportation cost and energy issues, affecting business environment.

He said productivity in the public and private sectors leaves a lot to be desired while the output of a large section of Malawians is very poor as more Malawians are just a burden to the government.

“The private sector is only satisfied with their initial businesses and there is lack of innovativeness. Our output in agriculture is poor with less production per unit area than all our neighbours and there is a lot of land lying idle,” said Msowoya.

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He then took a swipe at the private sector for not responding to calls for strategic investments like the Green Belt Initiative.

“Government is making huge investments but our private sector is not coming forth. The current financial challenges have only slowed down implementation process but we have made strides in that area while the private sector is only a spectator yet they were supposed to be key players,” he said.

Msowoya added that the government has done more on mechanisation of agriculture through the investments in large scale farming with more investments on small scale irrigation farming.

Economics Association of Malawi (Ecama) executive director Edward Chilima said there are some policies that need to be implemented for the agro based economy to start ticking, saying Malawi is not getting the best from the sector.

“While we are not developing, all our neighbours are developing yet we have the same agricultural resources and we even have the lake. We need to change the way we do things in this country,” said Chilima.

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