Reserve Bank speaks tough on poverty
Deputy Reserve Bank Governor for Economic Services, Naomi Ngwira, has slammed selfish and unpatriotic people who she accused of failing to implement good policies that can develop the country at the expense of securing their jobs.
Ngwira has since offered a plan which she believes can transform the agricultural sector by moving 25 percent of the country’s population out of poverty in 10 years by among others refurbishing psychology of agriculture.
The Deputy Governor was speaking during the opening of the 12th Farmers Union of Malawi Annual Congress and policy conference.
Ngwira, who titled her presentation as Transforming the Agriculture Sector ‘Diversified and Competitive at Domestic and Global Levels, observed that food is key if the country is to develop.
“There are some people in offices who are delaying or completely failing to implement good policies because they fear that once they do that then they may no longer be CEOs. Let’s not deceive ourselves we cannot achieve anything if we continue doing that,” she said.
Ngwira outlined a plan of three diversification activities per district based on agronomic and economic considerations.
“Planting tree or fruit crops for processing, intercropped with maize and legumes in the first three years. Diversify and expand annual crops using irrigation for 1,000 households per year giving 10,000 per district and with two hectares per household giving a national total of 54,000hectares,
” Open two plants per district for processing or manufacturing and employing 500 people per district from the 4th to 5th year. All land to be irrigated should be clearly owned by the public,” Ngwira said.
She said the last 50 years have been a waste and that tough decisions need to be made if the country is to move forward.
“Our country has meandered through the desert for over 40 years like the Israelites and just saying that maybe we will get there to Canaan and yet we have not done much in irrigation agriculture. It’s very simple if you give a farmer irrigation technologies he would have enough income to be food secure and he will be able to finance farm inputs for himself.
“Where are the ploughs that were there during the times of Jesus 2,000 years ago? It’s sad that as a country even after buying tractors for a good purpose they have disappeared into the hands of a few civil servants. Why not give the tractors to farmers in clusters,” she said.