Some of government’s priority areas highlighted in the 2015/16 financial year include the Farm Input Subsidy Programme (Fisp) which Finance Minister Goodall Gondwe said plays an important role in enabling ordinary Malawians to access key agricultural inputs.
Gondwe said government would continue with the implementation of the programme, maintaining its target of reaching out to 1.5 million beneficiaries.
On youth employment and empowerment, the Finance Minister said there is growing global discourse which recognises Africa’s youthful population as a point of strength and calls upon the continent to take full advantage of this resource in its policies.
He said government has sourced K22.9 billion for implementation of the Skills Development Project, with the main objective of increasing access to market-relevant skills by the labour market, and to enhance the results orientation of skills development institutions, particularly for tertiary and vocational education.
Gondwe also noted that the Greenbelt Initiative is serving a critical role of job creation among Malawians, especially the youth, in addition to enhancing agricultural production and value addition.
He cited the Malawi Mangos project in Salima which, he said, is known to have created more than 2 000 jobs already, and is set to create more than 4 000 jobs by this time next year.
“The sugar processing project in Salima, currently in the final stages of being set up, is projected to create about 5 000 additional jobs,” he said.
Gondwe, who did not indicate specific amounts of money allocated for most of the priority areas, also said the budget will support the implementation of public sector reforms; the establishment of the National Commission of Planning, a body for strategic thinking on matters of national development; and the establishment of development financial institutions.