A think tank called Mwapata Institute has been established to facilitate the development of better policies and supporting institutions that can transform agriculture and improve lives of farmers.
The think tank will engage the government, private sector and civil society stakeholders in a program of applied policy analysis, outreach, capacity building and policy coordination.
Speaking with reporters during a Media Breakfast at Capital Hotel in Lilongwe, Executive Director of Mwapata Institute Dr Sloans Chimatiro said they will be conducting research to appreciate the challenges that farmers are facing and hold authorities accountable.
Chimatiro added that during the research, they will be involving stakeholders such as smallholder and commercial farmers, rural youths, sector coordinators to facilitate the development of better policies and supporting institutions.
“We want to ensure that agriculture provides benefits so that communities that depend on agriculture and rural areas have their lives improved.
“We are aware that this country has good policies but then we want to understand why some of these policies are not implemented and to know how best these policies can be implemented,” he explained.
He added that there is need to transition agriculture from a loss making sector to a sustainable and balanced growing sector and set institutions that are capable of managing the sector, collecting wealth and directing the wealth into growth and development.
Chimatiro further said that the country faces significant future risks of food and nutrition insecurity due to among other things the underperformance of the agriculture sector and the country’s failure to add value to its primary products.
According to the National Planning Commission 2019, a recent review of the implementation performance of the vision 2020 showed that the performance of the agriculture sector has been below its potential in the past decades due to deficient policies and ineffective institutional arrangements.