Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development, Kondwani Nankhumwa has commended small-scale farmers for their significant role in socioeconomic development of Malawi.
Nankhumwa said this on Monday during Nasfam’s 23rd Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Lilongwe, where he was the guest of honor.
“Agriculture remains the key sector of Malawi’s economy. It is vital for the livelihoods of most Malawians. Agriculture is important for households and national food, income and nutrition security,” said Nankhumwa.
He further added that despite obstacles the sector faces, agriculture sector generates 29 percent of Malawi’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), 65 percent of employment and 67 percent of export earnings.
“Over the year, we have all noticed that, this important sector is being challenged by persistent emerging problems like that of climate change which is impacting on the contributions of the sector towards Malawi’s development. It is for this reason, with clear understanding that we all have to address these challenges and develop resilience,” said Nankhumwa.
In his remarks, the president of World Farmers Organization, Dr. Ted de Jager of South Africa, said that in order to curb poverty in Malawi, agriculture must be key priority at all costs.
“The fight against poverty can be won through agriculture. Wealth creation through agriculture is a prerequisite to improved economies. Agriculture is a business, therefore, farmers must make sure that there is sustainability and profitability especially for small-scale farmers,” said De Jager.
On her part, Chief Executive Officer for Nasfam, Dr. Betty Chinyamunyamu, said that the improved innovations and extension systems will enable farmers to have access to the improved farming tools which in-turn, will improve quality products.