The economy is based primarily on agriculture. It accounts for approximately 40% of gross national product, and over 90% of the countries export earnings. At least 80% of its agricultural output comes from small family farmers on small village plots. Commercial farmers on large estates produce the remaining 20%. The main crops grown are maize, tobacco, tea, sugar cane, groundnuts, cotton, wheat, coffee, and rice. The country’s exports are primarily tobacco, tea and sugar. Imports are dominated by capital goods and industrial equipment.
Malawi is one of the poorest and least developed nations on earth, with over 90% of its population living in small mud hut, thatched roof villages, or in rural trading centers. Unemployment runs in excess of 50%, and the average family earns only a little above $100.00 a year.