Chakwera opens 17th National Agriculture Fair in Blantyre

President, Dr Lazarus Chakwera has emphasised on the need for Malawi to revolutionize the country’s agriculture sector to be able to promote food security and support wealth and job creation for a sustained economic transformation.

Speaking during the official opening of the 17th National Agriculture Fair on Friday at Chichiri Trade Fair ground in Blantyre, he said Malawi 2063 places agriculture production and commercialisation as the first pillars in transforming the nation into inclusively well-being, self- reliant and middle-income country.

Chakwera said time has come that Malawians started working on revolutionizing the agriculture sector by investing in best farming practices and technologies that would assist the country to realise much needed proceeds from the sector.

“As a matter of urgency, let us move from using hoes to mechanisation. Let us switch from relying on rain-fed agriculture and concentrate on irrigation farming. Let us change from subsistence to commercial farming.

“My administration already started working on this move as evidenced by making agriculture equipment and inputs through the affordable input programme (AIP) accessible and affordable to farmers,” he said.

The President encouraged stakeholders in the agriculture sector to support the quest so that the country could realise high value of crop and non crop production and benefit from export earnings.

He described the National Agriculture Fair as a timely event as the country was in the season of transforming the agriculture sector which was the backbone for the country’s economy.

President of Malawi Confederation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (MCCICI), James Chimwaza said the fair provides a platform for different agricultural value chain players to share information, create linkages, access emerging technologies and explore business opportunities.

Turning to Covid-19 pandemic, he said the pandemic has exerted another problem to already existing challenges such as climate change, global price fluctuations, limited agriculture finance and limited market that the agriculture sector was grappling with.

Chimwaza said MCCCI together with other agriculture partners plans to reset the buttons and reinvent new ideas that would help to cushion the current and future external shocks affecting the sector.

“It is high time that we reinvent ideas in the sector such as establishing more agriculture industries, scale up linkages among different stakeholders on value chains and markets to increase agriculture production and support commercialisation in Malawi. This will help to promote food security, create jobs and wealth,” he said.

According to Chimwaza, 67 exhibitors have participated in the fair, a slight increase from previous fairs.

Earlier, President Chakwera was conducted on a tour to selected pavilions of products and services showcased by different exhibitors.

The fair will run up to Sunday, November 14, 2021 under the theme: ‘Building the agriculture sector back and better in a Covid-19 environment.’

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