The Civil Society Agriculture Network (CISANET), a policy advocacy organisation working on agriculture and food security policy issues, has announced that its 2015 National Conference will focus on science and technology for agriculture development.
At a news conference Cisanet board chair, Rex Chapota, said the National Conference and Annual General Meeting (AGM) will be held on 29th and 30th July 2015 at the Crossroads Hotel in Lilongwe.
According to Chapota, the proposed conference on science and technology is expected to make proposals for policies and institutional changes needed, in light of the changing climate, economic and political circumstances to promote growth in agricultural innovations in Malawi.
Chapota said participants are expected to discuss the importance of boosting support for agricultural research and technology adoption as part of the larger agenda to promote agricultural innovations, modalities for investments in enabling infrastructure and mechanization, building human capacity, stimulating entrepreneurship, value addition, and credit services and improving the governance of agricultural innovations.
“CISANET believes that advances in science and technology that have taken place worldwide offers Malawi more opportunities and new and better tools needed to promote its agricultural productivity.
“However these can happen in Malawi if the country creates new or rearranges existing institutional arrangements that will help uptake of these existing technologies to improve productivity. Agriculture being the main stay of our economy, our prosperity as a country, will depend on it for many years to come,” Chapota said.
Chapota said CISANET believes that the first step towards achieving the dream of having a Malawi agriculture that is technologically driven is to have strong political will to change.
“A willing and inspiring political leadership that provides space for new ideas, space for technocrats to execute policy without much political interference and allowing resources to be effectively and strategically allocated,” said Chapota.
Meanwhile, CISANET has upon upon political leaders to be champions of strategic thinking in development policy planning and implementation.
Chapota said CISANET 2015 annual conference will therefore look substantively at how innovation systems can be developed and agricultural transformation happens in Malawi.
CISANET is a grouping of Civil Society Organisations that was established in 2001 to facilitate the engagement of the Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) working in the agriculture sector with Government over policy issues affecting the sector especially smallholder farmers.
Currently CISANET has a membership (including affiliates) of 104 and this membership comprises of NGOs both local and International, Farmer Organisations and interested individuals. It also has a wider range of partners outside its membership who also have an interest in policy issues in agriculture and food security.