EIU downgrades Malawi’s economic growth to 4.9%

Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) has revised downwards the country’s economic growth projection for 2019 to 4.9 percent from Treasury’s initial forecast of five percent, weighed down by the impact of Cyclone Idai. The projection is contained in the Nico Asset Managers Monthly Economic Report for July 2019, which shows that Cyclone Idai impact is estimated…

Treasury moves to shift budget focus

Treasury says it is mulling over preparing an investment-oriented budget, which will be a complete departure from a heavily consumption fiscal plan. This follows long-standing concerns from commentators and economic think-tanks that the country’s budget largely focuses on consumption other than investment, citing the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development financial plan. In an…

Committee sees new price stabilising maize market

The Parliamentary Committee on Agriculture says maize traders have more staple grain than Admarc, observing that the increase in maize buying will help the State produce trader to buy the desired volumes. The committee chairperson Sameer Suleman said this in the context of the directive by Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development Kondwani Nankhumwa…

Ministry hails EU irrigation support

Government has commended the European Union (EU) for funding irrigation programmes under the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development, saying they will alleviate food insecurity in the country and economically empower prople. Speaking when he commissioned Tchanga Irrigation Scheme in Dedza yesterday, Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development Kondwani Nankhumwa said government has…

Jica trains Lilongwe teachers in computer repairing skills

A Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica) volunteer Takaaki Shiraishi on Wednesday trained teachers from 10 secondary schools  in Lilongwe in basic computer repairing. He said he conducted the day-long training after noting that lack of the computer repairing skills was forcing many secondary schools to dump their computers when they develop minor faults.  The course was…

RBM to penalise private  sector pension defaulters

Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) Governor Dalitso Kabambe has asked private sector companies that are defaulting pension funds remittances to pay up with interest or face the law. In his capacity as registrar of financial institutions, Kabambe has published names of 610 private companies that have not been remitting pension funds deductions from their employees…

CisaNet wants agriculture plan fully financed

Civil Society Agriculture Network (CisaNet) has asked Treasury to adequately finance the National Agriculture Investment Plan (Naip)  to enable the country achieve agriculture commercialisation. The call follows CisaNet observation that government is not adequately financing the five-year plan to achieve its objectives to transform the agriculture sector to become more productive as part of poverty…

‘Local structured markets too advanced for farmers’

Agricultural economist Derrick Kapolo says the existing structured markets have failed to bring desired outcomes to farmers as their operations are far advanced to meet the needs of the majority of small-scale farmers. The country has two structured markets—Agriculture Commodity Exchange (ACE) and Auction Holdings Commodity Exchange (AHCX). Kapolo said in an interview that the…

TNM fires 137 employees

TNM plc, one of the country’s integrated mobile network and ICT service providers, has laid off  about 20 percent employees in a move the company said is meant to align it to changes in the telecommunications industry. In a written response, TNM plc head of marketing Sobhuza Ngwenya said the decision followed the organisation’s development…

Living wage could lead to  retrenchments—ministry

Ministry of Labour, Skills and Innovation has warned that workers continued demand for a living wage could lead to massive retrenchments as the economy remains small to support such adjustments. In wake of increasing cost of living, workers have been demanding implementation of the living wage—a minimum income  necessary for a worker to meet their…

Tobacco Commission warns unscrupulous transporters

Tobacco Commission (TC) has threatened to deal with unscrupulous tobacco transporters who are demanding extra money from farmers, saying they should stop the malpractice or face the law. In a statement, the commission says it has noted with concern that some transporters are demanding the non-existent “booking fees” from farmers to transport and register their…

World bank speaks On budget support

The World Bank says it is ready to provide 2019/20 budget support if Treasury tightens the grip on expenditure controls to show prudence and fiscal discipline. World Bank country manager Greg Toulmin said in an interview on Friday in Lilongwe that the bank is keen on supporting the government to achieve economic growth by addressing…

Education sector gets K68bn World Bank boost

The World Bank and Malawi have signed a K68 billion concessional loan for projects to improve the education sector in the country. The funds will be provided under the ‘Equity with Quality and Learning at Secondary (Equals)’ project to be implemented over six years, World Bank country manager Greg Toulmin said on Friday at the…

Committee proposes zero-deficit budget

Budget and Finance Committee of Parliament has advised Treasury to consider implementing a zero-deficit budget to cushion the country from rising public debt stock. Memories of a zero-deficit budget are still fresh when on May 23 2011, during the opening of the 2011/12 budget meeting of Parliament, former president the late Bingu wa Mutharika announced…

Receiving centres enhancing tobacco marketing

The introduction of tobacco receiving centres has helped reduce transportation costs for farmers. According to AHL Group, the centres are a response to grower concerns on the high transport cost of tobacco and poor handling management of the leaf when it is being ferried to the market by third party transporters. Some farmers and receiving…

‘Malawi not ready to ban second-hand clothes’

Cotton Council of Malawi says Malawi is not ready to ban importation of second- hand clothes (kaunjika), saying the local cotton industry cannot support the textile industry. The council’s statement follows claims by some traders and cotton growers that the importation of second-hand clothes has contributed to the dwindling cotton output as the textile industry…

Guard against tribalism—Rwanda

Rwandan High Commissioner  Monique Mukaruliza has advised Malawians to guard against ethnic and tribal divisions, warning they can plunge the country into a war similar to what Rwandans experienced in 1994. The envoy said this on Saturday in Lilongwe during the commemoration of the 57th anniversary of Rwanda’s independence and 25th anniversary of liberation from…

‘Malawi ready for  industrialisation’

President Peter Mutharika has  assured investors that Malawi is ready for industrialisation to increase exports. The President’s sentiments follow the signing of $1.4 billion (about K1.1 trillion) memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the Malawi Government and African Export and Import Bank (Afreximbank). The projects to be financed include the international airport, a holiday resort at…

Global coffee prices rise excite local growers

Coffee growers are anxious over improved global coffee prices which they say gives hope for improved earnings and sustained crop production. This comes as the International Coffee Organisation (ICO) reported the monthly average composite price indicator rose by 7.1 percent to 99.97 US cents per half a kilogramme (kg) in June 2019, which is the…

Six-hour power cuts return, irk consumers

Consumers Association of Malawi (Cama) executive director John Kapito has described the return of the six-hour electricity blackout for both domestic and industry customers as worrisome and counter-productive to the economy. Cama’s concern follows an Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi’s (Escom) announcements of three-day six-hour load shedding due to insufficient power the company is getting…