Opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP) has asked the Minister of Finance to bring figures of Malawiâ€™s foreign debt, fearing that uncontrolled borrowing might burden future generations.
MCPâ€™s Vitus Dzoole-Mwale made the plea on Monday when commenting on a bill that was seeking to authorise government to borrow $10 million (almost K3 billion) from the Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa (Badea) for the phase two ofÂ irrigation projects in Nkhata Bay and Mangochi.
â€œWe are worried. I think we have borrowed too much of which it would be a burden for the coming generation to pay back,â€ said Dzoole-Mwale before expressing his support for the bill.
He also asked government to use the loan funds prudently.
â€œOur farmers are still using hoes. It is my hope that with these funds, those targeted farmers will start using modern farming methods rather than hoes,â€ he said.
Dzoole-Mwale, who is MP for Lilongwe Msozi South, also asked government to revamp all abandoned irrigation schemes across the country.
Speaking on behalf of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), Ntcheu Bwanje North MP Steven Kamwendo advised government to move away from the rain-fed agriculture which he said is being affected by climate change.
â€œGovernment should also ensure that any money should have a specific return. In business, you cannot just invest without expecting a return,â€ he said.
Presenting the bill which was eventually passed, Minister of Finance Ken Lipenga said the money is aimed at improving agricultural production, promoting food security and improving nutrition, and create employment in the benefitting areas.