Malawi’s government has stated its intention to accelerate agricultural commercialization in order to improve the country’s food production systems.

Recently in Equatorial Guinea, Deputy Minister of Agriculture Madalitso Kambauwa Wirima made the statement at a Ministerial Level Session of the 32nd Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Regional Conference for Africa.

Wirima, who spoke on behalf of Malawi’s government at the conference, said the agriculture sector is critical to the country’s economy because it accounts for 30% of total GDP (GDP).

She went on to say that because agricultural exports account for roughly 40% of total export value, there is a strong need to focus on commercialization and industrialization in order to boost agriculture productivity.

“As a country, our resolve is to move on as guided by our long-term development vision, the Malawi 2063. Malawi 2063 prioritises job and wealth creation, digitalization of agriculture services among other thematic issues and its pillars are: increased agriculture productivity and commercialisation, industrialization, and urbanisation,” said Wirima.

The Deputy Minister further said as Malawi moves towards its development vision, it faces a number of challenges in the agriculture sector including; small and fragmented agricultural land, limited mechanisation and limited agriculture commercialisation; low agriculture productivity; climate change, environmental degradation, and the COVID-19 pandemic.

She then explained that in order to overcome the cited challenges and accelerate the achievement of the SDG goals by 2030 and Malawi 2063, the government is using a number of strategies and plans including the COVID-19 Socio-Economic Recovery Plan (2021-2023) so as to accelerate economic recovery in the agriculture sector.

Wirima later pleaded for more financial and technical assistance from FAO on generating, managing and disseminating weather and meteorological services in particular for better decision-making in the face of climate change during the commercialization period.

“We seek more support from FAO(UN) for more technical assistance to commercialise our agriculture sector focusing on animal production, field crops and horticulture with a view to creating more wealth, jobs for the youth and women, and agro-processing.

“Let me reaffirm Malawi’s position that we strongly support the FAO Strategic Framework 2022-2031 that we expect to provide clearer technical direction for better food production systems, better nutrition, better environment, and a better life for Malawians,” said Wirima.

Meanwhile, FAO through its Director-General Dr Qu Dongyu who was also in attendance at the meeting nodded to support Malawi and the organization has since urged the country to write a proposal for the support it needs.

This will not be the first time for FAO to support Malawi as it has been consistently providing support to the country in areas of policy development, research on Fall Army Worm, extension and advisory services through Farmer Field Schools, and nutrition interventions, to mention but a few.

The Ministerial Level Session of the 32nd FAO Regional Conference for Africa was held from 11th to 14th April 2022 in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea and it was attended by Ministers from across the African continent

The Conference put a spotlight on FAO’s Strategic Framework and the Four Betters: Better Production, Better Nutrition, a Better Environment and a Better Life for all, leaving no one behind.

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