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Study urges investment in mining, fisheries

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A study by the National Planning Commission (NPC) has recommended massive investments in mining and fisheries sectors to unlock billions of Kwacha in earnings.

The study has revealed that despite the country being endowed with substantial minerals and water bodies, the nation has not yielded maximum benefits from the resources.

NPC implemented a research-based collaborative project called Malawi Priorities whose findings were revealed on Monday in Lilongwe.

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Malawi Priorities Project Coordinator Salim Mapila said both the minerals and fisheries sectors face similar barriers which are informality, lack of sophisticated practices, value additional and limited linkages to markets.

NPC has commended that there should be two major projects; development of artisanal and small scale mining Landing Centres and that there should also be development of Chipoka Port Fisheries Project.

NPC recommends that K5.35 billion would be needed for infrastructure and machinery for mining landing centres and machinery, K1.2 to K1.3 billion would also be needed for administrative costs.

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The landing centres are expected to boost gemstone and gold for ASM revenues by 35 percent which is K10.17 billion per year by 2028.

Secretary in the Ministry of Forestry and Natural Resources, Yanira Ntupanyama said the lake and fisheries needs to be valued for the sector to successfully contribute to the economy of the country.

“It needs to be enhanced, we also need to make an improvement so that we also improve in the fish stock,” she explained.

Principal Secretary for the Ministry of Mining, Joseph Mkandawire, said the research findings are very critical in turning around the country’s economy.

He also said there was a need for collective efforts to end illegal mining, not the ministry alone.

“It is like criminality, you don’t expect the ministry to be reporting all issues to the police, because if there is criminality, anybody is supposed to report that,” said Mkandawire.

NPC Research Manager Andrew Jamali said through its cost benefit analysis, was an economic benefit analysis which shows that it is possible to pump in a substantial amount of money to promote the economy and make Malawi a middle economy by 2030.

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