Nkhata-Bay, March 3: Malawi has raised $900 million worth of forex in the nine months the People’s Party (PP) has been in power, President Dr Joyce Banda said on Saturday.
Dr. Banda said some people thought she would fail when she assumed power, but they had now realized that she was a hard working and result-oriented leader.
“Since April 2012, the government has brought in $900 million worth of forex which was scarce during the Democratic Progressive Party era. Some people thought I would fail, but I did not because I am a hard working lady,” she told a development rally at Chintheche in Nkhata Bay.
Dr Banda took over the reins of power on April 7, 2012 following the sudden death of her predecessor, the late Bingu wa Mutharika on April 5. Mutharika died of heart failure.
On Agriculture, Dr Banda asked people in Nkhata Bay to utilise the wetland in the district by growing crops that could be exported like tomatoes and other vegetables.
“Nkhata-Bay District is a wet land district that needs to be utilized by growing crops that we could even export. If you grow such crops, I would find a market for you as one way of empowering Malawians economically and also raising more foreign exchange,” she said.
She thanked God for the good rainfall which she said the country was receiving, and expressed the hope that it would lead to bumper food crop harvest this year.
Dr. Banda stressed the need for Malawians to start growing crops more than twice a year so that the country could have enough food for consumption and export.
“It is not good to grow once. We are misusing our land, we need to grow crops twice so that we have enough food and export some to have forex,” she said.
She said with the opening of tobacco sales in the next two weeks, some of the country’s problems would have been sorted out by December this year.
On ‘Cow a Family Initiative,’ where a poor family is given a cow to raise so that it multiplies, Dr. Banda said the initiative would help to transform lives of those it targets.
She pledged to start the same in Northern Region after having launched it in Phalombe District in the Southern Region.
“I have already found cattle in Northern Region and I will distribute them within the region to transform live of our people,” she said.
Dr Banda distributed 1,000 bags of maize worth K5 million to needy households at Chintheche.