Noting the decline in tobacco demand, Minister of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining Bintony Kutsaira says mining is still Malawi Government’s priority sector to transform the country’s economy.
“Over the years, tobacco is facing global challenges due to the anti-smoking lobby instituted by the World Health Organisation [WHO]. This means as a country, we cannot continue to rely on the crop as a foreign exchange earner,” said Kutsaira.
Kutsaira said the above at Songwe Hills in Phalombe where Mkango Resources Limited, a Canadian mineral exploration and development company, is exploring rare earths. His remarks follow a wake up call for Malawi to diversify agricultural input, while the World Bank has said that Malawi remains one of the poorest countries in the world, because it is overly dependent on agriculture. As a result, weather related constraints curb agricultural progress and the economy altogether, hence Malawi needs to diversify its income streams.
Minerals and mining is definitely an alternative source of revenue, as Malawi will reap benefits through job creation and business opportunities .