There has been concern lately as the country’s economy continues to struggle, which has seen critics singling out increased imports as the major cause.
Local producers have also been pressing the government to put in place measures that would restrict importation of goods which can be made in the country.
Representatives of the Ministry of Trade dismissed the suggestions, saying specific products would first have to be identified, and assured to be produced in the right amounts in the country.
The General Manager of a furniture manufacturing company, Fadeth, disclosed that it would be useful to put in place measures that would encourage production.
“Let us take the example of toothpicks,” Richard Chirwa said, “we import them. Would it really be difficult for somebody to simply find proper equipment to start manufacturing our own?”
Chirwa also accused Malawians of a lack of patriotism that sees them opting for foreign products other than their own.
The public has, however pointed out the poor quality of most local products which sees most choosing to order from abroad in the hope of acquiring better goods.
The ministry’s spokesperson agreed with the assertions highlighting the importance of good quality products on a market where competition is stiff.
“All that these local producers need to do is to ensure that their products beat those of their competitors, even in a case where they are from outside the country,” said Wiskes Mkombezi.
Economists believe the country’s economy could be revived if production was increased.
Tobacco has, for many years, been the country’s major foreign exchange earner, but the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) anti-smoking lobby has put a threat on the future of the crop.
Inflation is currently high with prices of various goods and services rising rapidly.