Malawi food systems not sustainable

A research conducted on food systems in Malawi has indicated that the country’s food systems are not sustainable and a lot needs to happen if the country is to achieve sustainability of such food systems.

An Agriculture Expert and Curator of the process, Tamani Nkhono Mvula, told journalists on the sidelines of a United Nations Food Summit 2021 validation workshop that the research was based on five action tracks.

Minister of Agriculture Robin Lowe attends virtual United Nations Food Systems Summit Dialogue -pics by Mana (1)

“So, we are looking at issues of access to nutritious and safe food; ways in which we can boost nature positive production; how we can ensure that production systems are not being detrimental to the environment and how we can enhance a shift to sustainable food patterns among others,” he said.

He said this country’s diets are carbohydrate-based, as such, there is need to ensure a shift from that to sustainable food or ways of consumption and production.

He emphasised on the need to look at ways to enhance vulnerability of the food systems to shocks and stresses.

“So, the report was looking on those issues but now looking at the challenges that we have as a country, we need to look at what should be done to change that.

“We did not only look at the problems, but also what should be done, game changing priorities, the short term and the midterm,” said Nkhono.

He expressed concern that despite doing a lot of investment, there are still a number of people in the country going to bed hungry.

He cited the recent Malawi Vulnerability Assessment (MVAC) report which indicates that over one million people will be food insecure, but at the same time, he said there is a report indicating the country is going to have a surplus.

“When you look at this, it’s a sign that there is a gap somewhere, where one report from government is telling us that there is food surplus, another report is telling us that there is going to be food deficits,” he said.

Nkhono further said it was for that reason that the Synthesis Report produced was looking at the drivers of that situation, such as transport system, storage facilities, functionality of markets such as ADMARC; how to make sure that programs like the Affordable Inputs Program are responding to issues on the ground.

Minister of Agriculture, Lobin Lowe, emphasised on the need to go in a campaign that would make sure that local nutritious foods such as luni, bonongwe and nkhwani among others are consumed.

He concurred with Nkhono Mvula that Malawi’s diet is carbohydrate-based, saying a lot of people consider maize or nsima as the only food, hence the need for mindset change to embrace other types of foods which, he said, are equally important.

“I was going through the report and some of the game changing challenges and priorities that could be considered for productivity.

“The stakeholders are guiding my ministry to consider irrigation as one of the priorities and at the same time, we are looking at inadequate dietary diversification,” said Lowe.

He hailed the meeting, saying it would accord the country an opportunity to present the report to the United Nations Summit the issues which have been agreed upon while at the same time, ensuring that the country has a tool to know where the country is going.

The meeting will get commitments from stakeholders such government, development partners, non-governmental organisations, the private sector and farming communities.

The forum is also expected to provide direction on what should be done to address the challenges noted.

Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :

Sharing is caring!

Follow us in Twitter
Read previous post:
New diplomats undergo orientation training

Newly appointed Malawian diplomats have been advised to carry the flag of the nation with full dedication as they will...