Minister of Agriculture Lobin Lowe says his ministry wants to transform the livestock sector to effectively contribute to agricultural outputs for improved household livelihood, economic growth and export.
Lowe made the statement on Thursday at BICC in Lilongwe during the launch of the National Livestock Development Policy under the theme “A vibrant livestock industry: Game-changer towards sustainable and commercially led agriculture sector.”
Speaking to journalists, Lowe said that the policy will involve a lot of players including the private sector which will enable local farmers to benefit more than ever before.
He noted that there is a need to come up with cooperatives to transform the livestock sector to effectively contribute to agricultural outputs.
“We have so many policies in the agriculture sector. Most of them are not in use, they are just being kept in bookshelves. But with this policy, l will personally make sure that it bears fruits. Agriculture should not always involve crop production; livestock needs to be there. Our farmers should not rely on farm produce but also livestock,” he said
On his part, Vice-Chairperson Parliamentary Committee on Agriculture Ulemu Chilapondwa said that the country is late with the policy because it could have helped the nation to avoid some of the subsidy challenges that the ministry of agriculture faces during farming season considering that farmers who have got livestock could have bailed themselves from such problems.
Chilapondwa urged the ministry to make sure that livestock research stations are not neglected and ensure that they have doctors and other necessities that are needed in those stations.
He then pledged to continue engaging with the ministry to ensure that the policy is implemented and Malawians are benefiting from it whether in urban or rural areas.