President Lazarus McCathy Chakwera has defended his decision to embark on countrywide crop inspection tours arguing that the program is enabling him to collect first-hand information on crop situation in the country.
Some quarters have been questioning the decision contending that the tours were not necessary. However, addressing the media at Kamuzu Palace, Monday night President Chakwera observed that although he gets reports on crop estimates, there is still need for him to personally appreciate the situation so that he can make informed decisions.
The president said he was inspired to undertake the program following his experience when he was a Member of Parliament. He said there was a time when the Malawi Vulnerability Assessment Committee (MVAC) presented cooked up data in Parliament just to impress that the situation was good.
“Parliament later discovered that it was not a true reflection on of the crop situation the ground,” said Chakwera.
The President Chakwera then assured Malawians that he appreciates different views on the matter. The state president said while some people think otherwise, the farmers he has so far visited have been thrilled by his visits.
‘’It is not possible for everyone to agree with each of my policy. As a leader I understand that people have different opinions on this matter but my commitment on this project is to have the true picture on crop situation on the ground,” added Chakwera.
The president’s response put to bed the criticism that have been levelled against him on the crop inspection tours. Some people especially social media commentators have been criticizing the president for wasting taxpayers’ money the other hand other commentators have backed the president arguing that his interaction with farmers motivates and encourages them to work hard.
“The good thing is that these are not ordinary tours where probably you just see the crop and move on. President Chakwera is having an interaction with the farmers and hear them out on their aspirations and challenges. That is very important if we are to develop agriculture in this country,” observed one of the social media commentators on Facebook.
The crop inspection tour program has so far taken the president to Thyolo, Zomba, Mangochi, Ntcheu, Dowa and Dedza districts.