William Chadza, Executive Director of Malawi’s Agriculture Policy Advancement and Transformation Agenda (MwAPATA), an agricultural policy think-tank, said that if the country is to achieve a significant transformation in the agricultural sector, Malawi needs political will.
MwAPATA Institute is an independent agricultural policy think tank, which formed in 2019 and is currently engaging the Government of Malawi, private sector, and civil society stakeholders in applied policy analysis, policy outreach, capacity building, and policy coordination.
On Wednesday evening, MwAPATA Institute, the National Planning Commission (NPC) and Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (LUANAR) jointly held the fourth Ndizotheka Eminent Speaker Series in Lilongwe.
The series, which was held under the theme: ‘Agricultural Transformation for Wealth Creation’, attracted speakers from a diverse range of disciplines and backgrounds who sought to impact and transform Malawi’s development landscape.
The eminent speaker at the partially virtual conference included Khalid Bomba – the head of Ethiopian Agriculture Transformation Agency (ATA) – as the eminent speaker while the Associate Professor Dr Daimon Kambewa of the Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (LUANAR) was the discussant.
Chadza said political will is paramount to the development of agriculture in the country.
“These events are aimed at promoting candid and honest public interaction/dialogue with distinguished thinkers in order to generate implementable Malawi’s socio-economic transformation,” he said.
The NPC director-general Dr Thomas Chataghalala Munthali said Malawi needs to borrow a leaf from Ethiopian agricultural system, which has organized smallholder farmers into cooperatives and link them to structured markets in a drive to commercialize the sector.
Mwapata and NPC signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to explore long-term collaboration.
Specifically, the two parties will explore and collaborate in areas of research, organising Eminent Speakers Forum, identifying development initiatives that are working, up-scaling development initiatives, identifying and adapting successful models in various sub-sectors of agriculture and also promoting dialogue on issues affecting agriculture, among others.