Planning Beyond the Next Harvest: Advancing Economic Stability and Agricultural Commercialization

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The 16th edition of the Malawi Economic Monitor (MEM) calls for urgent actions to stabilize the economy and enhance growth. As in the previous MEM, this includes addressing three key areas: i) Stabilizing the economy: While some progress is being made, there remains an urgent need for theimplementation of the announced macroeconomic reforms, including building foreign reserves, achieving fiscal consolidation goals for the current fiscal year, returning debt to a sustainable path through restructuring, implementing key fiscal governance and public financial management (PFM) reforms, and continuing the shift toward a more flexible exchange rate regime. ii) Stimulating agricultural export competitiveness and market-driven growth in the economy: In the context of an ongoing macroeconomic crisis, it will be essential to focus on reforms to catalyze growth. This includes a sustained emphasis on advancing agricultural commercialization, improving the productivity of firms, and increasing and diversifying exports. It will also be important to deliver on the planned reform of expensive and poorly targeted subsidies, such as those for the Affordable Input Programme (AIP), and remove distortions that constrain firms’ growth. iii) Protecting the poor and strengthening resilience: As another difficult lean season approaches, including the heightened risk of extreme weather events, it will be essential to advance implementation of the significantly expanded Social Cash Transfer Program and other assistance programs. In the context of fiscal pressures, it will also be important to continue prioritizing the deliveryof essential services to the most vulnerable, while improving the efficiency and effectiveness of social sector expenditure.
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World Bank. 2022. Planning Beyond the Next Harvest: Advancing Economic Stability and Agricultural Commercialization. Malawi Economic Monitor;December 2022. © Washington, DC: World Bank. License: CC BY 3.0 IGO.
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