26 August 1997
Malawi tries to end dependence on cash crops

MALAWIS government is trying to diversify its economy so it is no longer dependent on agriculture. About 75% of its foreign earings are based on agriculture – mainly tobacco, sugar, tea, coffee and other cash crops.

It wants to look at agro-industries providing added value to existing crops such as canning pineapple chunks or producing fruit juices.

Japan has given $49 million (£30m) to be used for improvements in the financial sector, civil service and tariff reforms, private sector promotion and agricultural reforms.

Farm output is set to grow in Malawi after three years of drought. Reforms have made the agricultural sector more dynamic.

  • FARM output in Mozambique rose by almost 10% last year. Cashew production, which is the countrys top earner, climbed 102%. The government will implement a five year Agriculture Development National Programme next year to develop the sector. It will include institutional development, support for agricultural development, research, rural extension, livestock, forestry and hunting, the rural financial system, agricultural hydraulic and land tenure.

  • The Times 26/08/97 (Spotlight on Africa supplement)