CisaNet challenges Malawi MPs to transform agricultural sector    

Civil Society Agriculture Network (CisaNet) has urged Members of Parliament (MP) to be vigilant in lobbying for the development of the agriculture sector in Malawi.

Beatrice Makwenda deliver national budget issues and proposals during the event. Pic by Daniel Namwini-Mana
Beatrice Makwenda and other NASFAM and CISANET officials during the event. Pic by Daniel Namwini-Mana

The organization made the call in Lilongwe at an orientation meeting with the Malawi Parliamentary Committee on Agriculture.

In an interview, CisaNet Board Member George Vilili said they expect the meeting would provide an overview of the key issues currently affecting the sector as well as some insight on Civil Society Organization’s (CSO) perspective on the budget.

“CisaNet works to promote agricultural development and sustainable livelihoods for the rural poor by influencing desired change in policies, practices and attitudes of government, development partners and other stakeholders through effective and results focused advocacy, research and networking” he explained.

Vilili stated that they hope to forge an excellent working relationship with the new committee and collaborate towards a vibrant agriculture sector in Malawi.

CisaNet Programmes Sub-Committee Chairperson, Beatrice Makwenda said the current agriculture state funding which is at 10 per cent is not sufficient to effectively increase agriculture productivity.

“Some of the key issues affecting agricultural development are low productivity, overdependence on maize and tobacco, climate change, limited agro-processing and inadequate investments for Market Development” she said.

Chairperson for Parliamentary Committee of Agriculture, Sameer Sulemani said they are now able to appreciate the challenges that the small holders farmers face on the ground.

“It is very important for MP’s to coordinate with CSO’s to guide us on the essential areas to focus on during budget planning and allocation in the agriculture sector.

We need to lobby government to allocate more funding on the sectors that are under looked but quite crucial for agricultural development such as the livestock sector” he pointed out.

CisaNet was established in 2001 as a grouping of CSO’s working in the agriculture sector with a current membership of over 70 international, local, community based organizations, academic institutions and individuals.

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