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Due To Fair Trade Malawi Now Has Less Farmers In Poverty

By Leonor Rivera

Malawi is located in southeast Africa. It is one of the most under developed countries in the world. Malawi's economy is almost entirely agricultural and most of it's inhabitants live in rural areas. It is heavily reliant on foreign aid programs for sustainability, although the country's future does look a little brighter because the economy has seen growth over the last half a decade or so. Also, due to fair trade Malawi now has farmers with access to new markets, helping them earn a steady living.

Many farmers though, still lack the resources, technical skills and output to consistently grow their income. Also, their access to markets is still erratic. The education of children is at risk, their health is too. The farmers need ongoing support in order to create a sustainable agricultural economy.

The farmers need to build firm connections with customers and get entry into new markets. The farms need to be better business operations if they are to grow. Quite a few companies from the United Kingdom have made connections with farmers in Malawi and the volume of trade has increased as a consequence.

The situation of sugar farmers has got better because they now have proper access to utilities. The farms have had their security improved and they have been given tools and materials to build homes. Literacy levels have improved enormously, helping farmers to work with greater independence.

Many people think that not enough effort is being made to improve the situation of farmers. An initiative was launched in 2013 to lobby David Cameron, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. They want him to put pressure on the G8 to do more. Some want to go further and place the problems of the developing world at the heart of policy making decisions.

Schools in the United Kingdom have got involved in helping farmers in less developed countries. For example, pupils run shops within schools, only selling fair trade products. This also helps pupils to become more aware of international issues and become better citizens. Many schools link international issues to other subjects the children study.

Malawi's 25th international trade conference took place in May of 2013. It is run by the Confederation Of Chambers Of Commerce And Industry, taking place in Blantyre. Ten foreign exhibitors attended, from countries such as Kenya, India and Pakistan. The exhibition ran many business workshops and seminars. Also, networking was encouraged between businesses.

Even though progress has been made due to fair trade Malawi still has a long way to go. The farmers are among the poorest in the world and face a daily struggle to survive. Despite providing so much of the world's food, they still struggle to provide for themselves. Finance is difficult to get, and consequently it is difficult to replace broken machinery or tools. Also, levels of health care still need to be improved, as do levels of education. The social situation of many communities is still dire. Many people who live in rich, western countries get their food from farmers in under developed countries, so it is important to make the farms sustainable.

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