Malawi earns up to 70 percent of its foreign exchange from tobacco. Most of it is grown in the rural areas where farmers have to transport it for long miles to the capital city, Lilongwe. Read the full VOA story. It seems that the export focus must be brought up to date with the world trends. Fewer people are smoking and cigarettes are becoming a lot more expensive.
The ASAP Africa Malawi Program helps farmers to diversify their crops while improving the growing methods. ASAP field officers teach that one way of making lasting improvements to agriculture is to switch to permaculture and organic farming techiques. It has been shown that organic fertilizers are much better for the soil as well as the crops while commercial fertilizers deplete the soil and poison the water table.