Lowe says low productivity blocking farmers’ participation in markets

Minister of Agriculture Lobin Lowe says smallholder farmers fail to participate in markets, agro-processing and value addition as they do not harvest enough produce.

He was speaking during virtual meeting on Future of Smallholder Farming in Malawi Policy Research Seminar on Thursday.

He argued that smallholder farmers cannot talk of value addition when the yield is not even enough to last to the next season.

Lowe added that his Ministry, together with other Ministries, are eager to pursue policies that will lead to the transformation of smallholder farming.

“Our aspirations as reflected in the Malawi Vision 2063, will be attained if the future for smallholder farming, we are deliberating today is inclusive (women and youth), climate smart and commercially oriented,” he said.

He further noted that smallholder farmers play a significant role in the economy of this country and tend to spend their incomes on locally produced goods and services and therefore stimulate the rural non-farm economy and creating additional jobs.

Mwapata Institute Acting Executive Director, William Chadza, said that the future of smallholder farmers depends on policy makers and different players in agriculture sector.

He noted that smallhoder farmers are in different pathways hence the need for different strategies and policies to help tackle the challenges they are facing.

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