The main opposition, Malawi Congress Party (MCP) has promised farmers in Chitipa district to establish tobacco market in the district once ushered into power come 2019 tripartite election.
Second Vice President for the party, Harry Mkandawire was answering to the plea from people in the district through the party’s First Vice Secretary General, Catherine Gotani Hara to consider bringing affordable markets of farm produce including tobacco market once the party is put into power next year.
In her speech Hara said, Chitipa is among the districts in the country where farmers have no longer interest now of growing tobacco as their commercial crop due to current poor prices as well as unavailability of markets near to their respective districts.
“Most farmers here grow maize as a commercial crop, they fail to grow tobacco just because the district has no tobacco auction holdings, and the only auction floors where they can sell tobacco is in which Mzuzu which is very far for them to meet the cost of transportation.” Appealed Hara.
Meanwhile Mkandawire in his remarks said the country’s main economic back bone which is Agriculture particularly tobacco is indeed losing its glory due to poor prices as well as unavailability of markets, unlike during the 30 year rule of the first President of this country, Dr Hastings Kamuzu Banda when farmers used to enjoy good prices.
“I myself as a member of Tobacco Association of Malawi (TAMA) Councillor, I will make sure that all necessary protocols to the board are followed so that this district and other districts where tobacco is grown there must be tobacco auction floors so that this country must regain the lost glory.” Promised Mkandawire.
Mkandawire further revealed that it is also within the party’s plan to construct several ware houses for various farm commodities so that farmers should be able to keep their produce in times of poor prices and sell them in times of high demand when the prices are good.
However, the party’s President who is also leader of Opposition, Dr Lazarus Chakwera urged people in the district to go for voter registration exercise which commenced on Monday 8th October, 2018 in the district to achieve the party’s plans come 2019.
Chakwera was in the district as part of his week long campaign trail to woe support for his party apart from encouraging the electorate to register in the voter registration exercise currently in phase seven; covering the five districts of Chitipa, Karonga, Rumphi, Chiradzulu and Machinga.-MEC Stringer