Vice President Saulos Chilima has called on stakeholders at the Agricultural Policy Conference to join hands in implementing the resolutions of the conference.
Chilima made the remarks on Tuesday after opening the 2021 Malawi Annual Agricultural Policy Conference in Lilongwe held under the theme “Supporting Agriculture Transformation in Malawi: Beyond Research to Implementation”
Chilima said the theme resonates well with the tenets of the MW2063 under the pillar of Agriculture Productivity and Commercialization as well as the Tonse Alliance’s commitment to the agriculture sector development.
Speaking in an interview, the vice president called on farmers across the country need to invest into different agricultural practices including livestock farming to makes sure that they are getting better returns.
He, however, expressed concern over the county’s yield per Kilogram of fertilizer saying it is very low compared to other countries.
He noted that in Malawi the yield is 5 Kilograms to a Kilogram of fertilizer while other countries are yielding 37 kilograms to a kilogram.
“As such there is a need to improve our systems so that our yielding should be much better. At the same time, we will be promoting food security and economy growth,” he said.
In her remarks, Foundation for a Smoke Free World Agriculture Transformation Initiative Country Director Candida Nankhumwa said that tobacco revenues have declined from around US$ 400 Million per year in the 1990s to under US$200 Million in 2020 which shows that there is need to diversify the food base beyond maize and tobacco and increase productivity.
Nankhumwa said government should come up with predictable policies that can foresee the future to encourage investors invest more in the sector rather than reversing the policies because it discourages the private investors.
On his part, Mwapata Institute Board Chairperson Charles Mkandawire urged government and other stakeholders to address challenges of crop diversity. He noted that there is a need to use alternative value chains including Agriculture related values chains such as fishing, legumes among others.
Mkandawire added that as the organizations are supporting smallholders, farmers there is a need to implement research findings and also to desist from political interferences.