Employers Consultative Association of Malawi (Ecam) has added weight to calls for investments in sectors other than agriculture which has been persistently underperforming in recent years, denting the country’s economic growth.
Ecam, an apex body which represents employer interests, said as part of medium-term plans, it wants to work with government and other stakeholders in diversifying the economy into manufacturing and agro-processing as opposed to depending on tobacco and raw agriculture produce only.
Over the past five years, Malawi has been experiencing a downward spiral in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth which is the overall economic growth measure.
“Ecam core business is about enterprise sustainability and creating decent jobs. We noticed that value of agricultural produce such as tobacco sales are declining in Malawi as well as worldwide. For Malawi this means that direct and indirect jobs from industry are declining,” said Ecam vice-president Buxton Kayuni in an emailed questionnaire.
He said, therefore, Ecam wants to look at influencing the business environment and lobbying for the required infrastructure that will spur diversification and business growth.
Agricultural expert Tamani Nkhono Mvula is on record to have said government and other stakeholders have the role to ensure that agriculture is diversified and not to be dependent on rainfall, but also help change the mindset of farmers to gear their production depending on the market.