Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) Thursday donated two Land cruiser vehicles and ten motor bikes to Ministry of Agriculture to facilitate mobility of District Agricultural Development Officers in Kasungu and Mzimba.
Speaking in interview after receiving the vehicles and bikes, Chief Director in the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development, Bright Kumwembe said the vehicles would facilitate efficient delivery of services in the two districts for the project they are implementing.
“With these vehicles and motor bikes, our DADOs and extension officers will be able to assist smallholder farmers very well to move from subsistence agriculture to commercial agriculture. We are currently running a project which its focal points are Kasungu and Mzimba. We are hopeful that with these vehicles we will be able to deliver,” he said.
Kumwembe said his ministry will ensure that the vehicles and motor bikes are put to good use by the concerned staff.
“We have advised our DADO’s to ensure that the vehicles are put to good use so as to achieve the intended purpose and above that we also have a computerized system of monitoring vehicles which we feel will also assist us,” the Chief Director said
FAO Representative, Florence Roll said her organization donated the vehicle because they value the coordination they have with government of Malawi.
“It is an important event because FAO has always been working with the Ministry of Agriculture and would want to continue supporting the government in infrastructure and other areas. For example we have just finished 12- week long training for AEDOs and AEDCs which was meant to build their capacity,” she said.
Roll said DADOs play an important role in agriculture and therefore deserved good transportation systems to facilitate their mobility.
Ministry of Agriculture is running a five year project in Kasungu and Mzimba called market capacity building for smallholder farmers with support from the government of Flanders.
The project started in 2015 and is expected to run up to 2020.