Farmers Union of Malawi (FUM) expressed disappointment over the timing of the appreciation and pace of their local currency, against major international currencies.
Alfred Kapichira, the FUM President, addressing to the journalists in Lilongwe said, “The recent marketing developments particularly on exchange rate are a scaring to livelihoods of farmers. While the appreciation has excited other segments of the society, mostly importers, on one hand, the same is nuisance and of course a perceived sabotage to farmers who bought their farm inputs at more depreciated Kwacha rate than now.”
Kapichira observed that it is a tradition in the country to see a local unit gaining value when markets for Malawi’s major crops such as tobacco are opening which in essence displeases and sabotages farmers. On pricing of some crops particularly tobacco, he said, it is high time government involve farmers when coming up with minimum prices for the product.
He said there should be a negotiation table on the minimum prices of tobacco between government and the farmers representatives.
The negotiations should be done before the government meets the tobacco buyers. When the farmer is given opportunity to set the prices, there can be a win-win situation.
The Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) through a statement has assured farmers that the current exchange rate system was the best and makes them competitive on the international market.