Dialogues to define priority actions on food systems

Government has said national dialogues will define the priority actions to contribute to United Nations (UN) system summit to reignite a national agenda to transform our food systems in line with Malawi 2063.

Minister of Agriculture, Lobin Lowe said this Wednesday during the opening of National Food Systems Summit Dialogue at Bingu International Convention Centre (BICC) in Lilongwe.

Lowe- dialogues to define priorities pic by Tione Andsen (Mana)

He said pillar one of Malawi 2063 focuses on agricultural productivity and commercialization which entails reviewing the current food systems in order for the country to achieve Malawi 2063.

Lowe added that dialogues are a powerful opportunity for Malawians everywhere to have a seat at the UN Summit table.

“The dialogues will bring together different stakeholders including the voices that are seldom heard, providing an opportunity for debate, collaborate and commit to actions towards a better future for all,” the Minister said.

Lowe stated UN food systems summit offers a process through which the country could share its experience, expertise and guidance regarding the necessary improvements in our food systems.

Cross section of stakeholders for the dialogue pic by Tione Andsen (Mana)

He noted the world was grappling with the Covid-19 pandemic and it continues to impact activities around the world and the agriculture sector is no exception.

“The gravity of the corona virus pandemic has gone beyond being an exclusive health issue as it has transcended the health frontier affecting all other sectors of the world economies and livelihoods,” the Minister pointed out.

He said the rebuilding of economies after the Covid-19 crisis offers a unique opportunity to transform the global food system and make it resilient to future shocks, ensuring environmentally sustainable and healthy nutrition for all.

Lowe stated that the food systems summit offers a timely process for helping policy makers and food system actors to understand better the impacts of alternative courses of action.
UN Resident Coordinator in Malawi, Maria Jose Torres said the summit would propel all member states to use food systems summit dialogues to review their own food systems, create action and thus make significant contributions to meeting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Stakehoders to the national dialgoue pic by Tione Andsen (Mana)

She said these dialogues encourage analyses, explorations, and solutions that are specific to the local context.

“You are aware food brings communities and nations together and having a range of diverse views and involvement will better help identify the best ways to make food systems strong and more equitable in the country,” Torres viewed.

She said the process which includes national dialogue and then the regional and district dialogues are incredibly important.

Torres stated that the food systems cover multiple areas and actors including, food security, livelihoods, nutrition, health, wash, social protection, agriculture, trade and private sector.
Principal Secretary for Ministry of Agriculture, Erica Maganga urged all stakeholders to work together in ensuring sustainable food systems in the country.

“Our food systems touch every aspect of human existence. When they function well, food systems have the power to bring us together as families, communities and nations,” she said.

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