Mutharika opens Malawi agriculture fair with calls for innovation

President Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika has pledged continuous support to the Agricultural Sector towards the achievement of notable economic growth.

Professor Mutharika made the assurance Thursday at Chichiri Trade Fair grounds in Blantyre where he officially opened the 11th National Agriculture Fair.

President Mutharika said it is for this cause that his Government continues to implement targeted policies and programmes that are inclusive in the sector.

Mutharika cutting the ribbon to mark the official launch of this years Agriculture Trade Fair in Blantyre

Mutharika cutting the ribbon to mark the official launch of this years Agriculture Trade Fair in Blantyre

“This is based on the fact that Malawi is an agro-based economy and therefore a vibrant Agriculture Sector will enhance more employment in producing and manufacturing companies, increase export base and strengthen linkages to all other players in the sector,” said Mutharika.

The President further said apart from Farm Input Subsidy Programme (FISP), his government has also come up with a programme of sustaining and consolidating the country’s achievements in the sector by developing an Agriculture Sector Wide Approach Programme (ASWAP), a priority investment framework for the sector.

“The Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development in collaboration with the country’s cooperating partners developed and are implementing a country-owned Agriculture Sector Wide Approach Programme (ASWAP), which will among other things look into sustaining and consolidating all the achievements in the agriculture sector.

“Besides, I am also pleased to inform Malawians that the Farm Input Subsidy Programme will once again be implemented this year targeting 1.5 million resource poor smallholders,” said President Mutharika.

According to Mutharika, the aim of the ASWAP is to improve agricultural productivity and economic development through coordinated efforts of all players along the agricultural value chains.

“It is very encouraging to learn that the development partners are supporting the ASWAP through various programmes and projects.

Notable among these are, the World Bank, European Union, African Development Bank, the Flanders Government, Kingdom of Norway and Irish Aid,” disclosed the Malawi Leader.

He then appealed to all players in the agricultural sector to work in collaboration in order to realise potential economic development of the nation, I am urging all players in the agriculture sector to be innovative and also consider adapting to the changing environment by using modern technologies to ensure increased agricultural production.

Specifically, I would like to urge our farmers to adopt the innovations and technologies that are being developed, and some of which I have seen being exhibited at this agriculture fair,” encouraged Mutharika.

In his remarks, the President of Malawi Confederation of Chambers and Commerce, Newton Kambala called upon government to honour the commitments it made in the G8 Cooperation Framework which includes fast tracking the finalisation of a number of critical policies such a National Agriculture Policy, National Irrigation Policy and the Industry and Trade Policy by following them up with action.

This year’s National Agricultural Fair is being held under the theme ‘Agriculture: A basis for achieving inclusive growth’ and it is expected to run from August 28 to August 30, 2014.

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