By Tione Andsen:
Government has the agriculture sector has a potential to improve its productivity if mechanization drive taking into commercial level.
Principal Secretary for Ministry of Agriculture, Sandram Maweru said this Tuesday during Stakeholders’ Discussions on Emerging Policy Issues for Agriculture Productivity and Commercialization at Sunbird Capital Hotel in Lilongwe.
He admitted that agriculture sector has been predominately drive by smallholder farmers using a hoe to enhancing subsistence farming.
Maweru pointed out that the country’s agricultural productivity has gone down because for the past years because they were no better alternatives to encourage small holder famers to increase their productivity.
The PS noted that the sector has opportunities to improve if it moves from subsistence into mechanization which would help to increase productivity.
“We must admit that the sector has faced a lot of challenges such as adverse climatic conditions and cyclones that have affected agriculture investments in the country,” Maweru added.
He viewed that National Agriculture Policy, Agriculture Investment Plan and other sector policies need to be effectively used by all stakeholders in order to improve productivity.
Maweru said the sector in line with Malawi 2063 pillar of agriculture mechanization which need to be supported by all stakeholders.
He said the agriculture sector should be keen to issues of resources allocation and promoting research findings in order to come up with policies are be suited.
“We need to have more workshops to enable various players in the sector to brainstorm ideas on how the country can improve its productivity levels. The workshops provide a platform where policies could discuss and improved to suit the current situations,” he added.
He urged the participants to freely discuss the policy brief before them and make recommendations that would have an impact to the communities and the country at large.
He thanked National Planning Commission (NPC), Ministry of Finance and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) for undertaking the initiative through research findings in order to come up with the policy brief.
NPC Director of Knowledge and Learning, Dr Joseph Nagoli said the country need to put into action policies and recommendations that have been made in the agriculture sector
He said this was only way of ensuring the Malawi 2063 pillar of agriculture productivity and commercialization towards making agriculture production to inclusively create wealth as per the vision.
UNDP Representative, Patrick Kamwendo hoped that the development of policies would make a difference to the country.
He said the country had development policies in the past but have had little impact to the country hence the need to be critical when formulating them.