President Peter Mutharika says it is important to invest in the agriculture sector in order to attain the country’s goal of national development and to uplift the welfare of the people.
The President was speaking at Kamuzu Palace in Lilongwe on Tuesday when he received a donation of 34 tractors valued at $1million from the Indian government.
The Mahindra Tractors which include allied implements (Hallowers, Ploughs, and Ridgers) have been given under the grant-in-aid to the government of Malawi.
Professor Mutharika said agriculture remains one of the government’s sectors that is propelling Malawi’s economy and remains the country’s priority.
“The sector’s contribution to the country’s GDP remains relatively significant and I believe the situation will remain the same at least for the foreseeable future,” he said.
According to the Malawi leader, there is overwhelming empirical evidence world over that mechanized farming increases productivity and that farm machinery such as the tractors are crucial to agriculture development in any economy.
“Malawians will agree that reducing the burden of manual labour is a very important way of improving people’s quality of life. Reducing the hours spent on the farm and off-loading those hours to other off-farm activities is very important for the development of our communities especially to our women,” added President Mutharika.
He then said the donation will promote and help smallholder and medium scale farmers to graduate from the use of hand-hoe to modern methods of agriculture production.
Speaking during the same function, Indian High Commissioner to Malawi Mr Vanlalhumah said the donation does not symbolize that India has a lot of resources but that it realises the importance of friendship and sharing.
“We share common problem with Malawi since our relations began in 1964 but as a nation we value friendship and sharing.”
“We hope these tractors will help to strengthen these ties and improve the agriculture sector which remains Malawi’s bedrock for the economy,” said Mr Vanlalhumah
Minister of Agriculture Dr Allan Chiyembekeza said the tractor hire scheme will be distributed to farmers who are in cooperatives.
He said under proper management and usage, the scheme will help ensure food security in the country.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :