Minister of Gender Children and Social Welfare, Patricia Kaliati says her ministry will continue lobbying for support from various ministries to ensure that women and youth in the country have access to farming needs in order to maximize their production.
Kaliati said this in Mulanje district when she presided over the official launch of Women and youth mobilization campaign which attracted close to 500 women and youths across the country.
The campaign is aimed at strengthening women and youthful food producers to achieve resilience in communities against the effects of climate change.
Kaliati said 70 percent of food producers in Malawi are women and youth yet they are not fully empowered to achieve resilience to effects of climate change which has continued to lower crop produce year in and year out.
The minister said it is high time that she embarked on lobbying different ministries including agriculture and finance to map the way forward on how food producers could be helped in order to increase production.
“Currently, most women do not own land, in the north for example, land is mostly owned by husbands likewise in the central and south it is owned by the uncles. In addition, women and youths do not have access to farming machinery as well as loans.
“However, I will do everything on my part to discuss with various ministries,” said Kaliati, pledging to institute a deliberate policy to ensure that women are protected on issues of land ownership and that they have access to modern farming equipment such as tillers.
According to the Gender minister, so far, farm machinery such as tractors (for women) have already been dispatched to various districts.
Kaliati further urged stakeholders to make sure that they stick to the price for government’s subsidized fertilizer so that many farmers access the commodity easily.
The gender minister also advised women and young people to practice family planning saying the move helps to ease pressure on natural resources.
Speaking earlier, Alice Kachere who is brand ambassador for women, food and climate justice underscored the need for government in conjunction with various organizations to play a crucial role in empowering rural women and youth farmers in farming activities.
“Women feed the nation. As such, we will depend on government and its partners to assist us with farming equipment and loans with low interest rates in order to boost our production that will in turn promote agro economy,” said Kachere.
Commenting on the land policy, Kachere said there is need for massive awareness and empowerment to women farmers so that they could also own the land for animal and crop production.
The women and youth mobilization campaign, food and climate started last year with the aim of highlighting the challenges that food producers face due to effects of climate change among others.–ManaFollow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :