VP Kachali asks Malawi farmers to form groups

Farmers in the country have been asked to form associations if they are to make meaningful profit in their business.

Vice President Khumbo Kachali made the call on Thursday when he opened the 8th Annual Congress for the Farmers Union of Malawi (FUM) at Bingu International Conference centre in Lilongwe.

The Conference’s theme is: “Agricultural cooperatives are key to improved agricultural production and marketing for social economic development in Malawi.”

Kachali said agriculture is the back bone for any country’s economic growth. He said for any country to develop, there is need for serious investment in the agricultural sector.

Jumbe: Need for regulatory body

He said he was pleased with the steady progress the country had made in improving the agricultural sector adding that formation of an association for farmers was of paramount importance.

“There cannot be economic progress if farmers are working in isolations and subjected to unconducive conditions.

“I for one strongly believe that farmers can make meaningful profits if they work in groups. Through such organizations, farmers can articulate issues that affect their interest and directly participate in agricultural policy formulations,” Kachali explained.

Kachali emphasized that government was determined do everything possible in ensuring that the farmers continue producing enough crops, especially by creating associations.

The Vice President commended FUM for organizing the congress which he said would help them exchange skills and knowledge thereby improve the agricultural productivity.

Speaking earlier, President for Farmers Union of Malawi Felix Jumbe asked government to consider establishment of a regulatory body saying its mandate would be regulating prices and the marketing of agricultural produce.

Jumbe said it was sad to note that despite the hardships that farmers go through, the people who make profit were the middle men.

He said with the presence of a regulatory body possibility is that farmers would be protected from unscrupulous traders.

“There is a lot that we can ask from the government but the most important one is consideration of a regulatory body just as it is with other sectors. The purpose of this body is to regulate any functions taking place in the agriculture sector,” Jumbe said.

In regard to the congress, Jumbe said it was part of the platforms on how farmers can share skills and knowledge.

He said the conference was beneficial for the farmers.

“As farmers we believe in sharing knowledge and that can only be achieved we interact with one anothers like at this forum. The congress today forms part of that and we hope our farmers will learn several things,” Jumbe explained.

Farmers Union of Malawi is a grouping of over 78 associations of farmers with membership of over 260 000 farmers. The core functions of the Union are to offer solutions to challenges faced by framers and directly involve government in issues affecting the agricultural sector.

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