The Agriculture Transformation Initiative (ATI) will hold its second annual Agriculture Transformation Summit to discuss reduction in demand for tobacco and ways of helping smallholder tobacco farmers transition to alternative livelihoods.
The summit will be held from Wednesday to Thursday at Bingu International Conference Centre (BICC) in Lilongwe.
The theme of the event is “The Role of Inclusive Science, Technology and Innovation in Driving Agricultural Transformation.
According to ATI Country Director, Dr Candida Nankhumwa, this year’s summit will bring together key stakeholders from across the agriculture sector as they will also discuss opportunities for economic diversification for Malawi.
Nankhumwa added that they are preparing for the reduced tobacco demand by working with smallholder tobacco farmers to facilitate the development of complementary structured value chains with the goal of making Malawi’s agricultural sector globally competitive.
“To achieve this, the ATI is partnering with the private sector, smallholder farmer organisations, government and financial stakeholders to catalyse investment, develop and strengthen extension services, and promote entrepreneurship to support tobacco farmers in their efforts to transition to alternative crops and livelihoods,” she explained.
During the event, there will also be an Agriculture Technical (AGTech) Challenge, Science Fair hosted by Centre for Agriculture Transformation (CAT) where people will present innovations to address challenges faced by Malawian groundnuts farmers.
Tobacco leaf companies, private sector, government officials, and investment advisors will attend the three day meeting.