Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development Minister, Kondwani Nankhumwa has said it is the wish of President Peter Mutharika that all farmers in Malawi adopt recommended agriculture technologies for increased agriculture production and productivity for a hunger free nation.
“It is the wish of His Excellency’s that every household should be food secure and that no one should die of hunger. I wish to express my personal gratitude to the President for having people’s very best interests at heart,” the minister made the remarks on Thursday, March 5, 2020 at Namiasi Residential Training Centre (RTC) in Mangochi during an agricultural ‘Field Day’ organized by Machinga Agricultural Development Division (ADD) and Mangochi District Council.
The theme of the Field Day was theme: ‘Agriculture Enterprise Diversification, Commercialization and Partnerships: Key To Sustainable Food, Nutrition And Income Security.’
The minister noted that farming is the most important livelihood activity as most families depend on it for food, nutrition, and income security. This is the reason, he said, government places a lot of emphasis and support to the agriculture sector.
“Government has put in place several programmes, projects and strategies to develop the agriculture sector for socio-economic development of the country,” he said, adding, however, that agriculture faces many challenges including excessive rainfall, Fall Army Worm outbreaks, and floods, all attributable to climate change “being experienced in Malawi and the world over”.
He said it has been established that climate change is influenced by many factors and most important are human activities, such as those manifested in environmental degradation.
“We need to guard against practices that lead to environmental degradation for sustainable agriculture production in this country,” he said.
Nankhumwa, who is also Leader of Government Business in Parliament and governing DPP Vice President for Southern Region, said he had learnt “with joy” that despite the climate change and other challenges, Machinga ADD has high prospects of crop harvests this season because farmers have been following Good Agriculture Practices.
The minister informed the gathering that his ministry has many technologies and strategies that can help farmers to minimize losses, or offset them whenever you experience them from different angles.
“Achievement of food, nutrition, and income security at both household and national level is possible if we all follow recommendations my ministry makes all the time. All those who joined me on the tour of fields today can bear witness to this from what we have seen. I therefore urge all farmers in Mangochi and the entire country to adopt improved agriculture technologies as they are key to achieving food, nutrition and income security at both household and national levels,” said the minister.
He also encouraged farmers to engage in livestock production besides crops and horticulture production “because livestock and livestock products are an important source of protein that is necessary for good human nutrition; sources of income; and sources of farm labour when using ox-drawn tools”.
During the Field Day, Nankhumwa toured four different agricultural fields within the ADD and demonstration plots and activities at Namiasi RTC.
“This is good progress and has to be sustained. Let me thank all stakeholders who are complementing Government efforts in uplifting the status of our farmers. In a special way, let me recognize farmer’s efforts first, then efforts of the Mangochi District Council agriculture staff, Machinga ADD Staff, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and all other stakeholders who have helped farmers this agricultural season in different ways. I really appreciate the collaboration between and among you all here,” he said.
Other high-profile people who attended the event at Namiasi RTC included Secretary for Agriculture, Grey Nyandule Phiri, Director for Agricultural Technical Services, Margaret Mauwa, Parliamentarian for Mangochi Central, Victoria Kingston, DPP Director of Women for Eastern Region, Eluby Kandeu, District Commissioner for Mangochi Reverend Moses Chimphepo, Senior Chief Mponda and T/A Mkumba of Mangochi, among others.
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