Tuesday, 28 March 2017
 

The country’s crop estimates for 2016/17 have increased compared to 2015 representing a 35% increase.

Farm Input Subsidy Programme (FISP) beneficiaries in Mzimba have expressed mixed views over the changes made in the implementation of the programme.

Malawi has fixed the price of farm inputs in the 2016/2017 Farm Input Subsidy Programme (FISP).

Farmers in Malawi have challenged researchers to come up with new and improved technologies that will enable them cope with the prevailing effects of climate change.

Malawi's long time development partner European Union has injected €25 Million euros (about MK20billion) to propel irrigation farming in the country.

The idea is to see communities in the southern Africa nation are able to mitigate and adapt to climate change.

This follows adverse of climate change which for the past years has paralyzed the agriculture sector in one of the poorest nations in the world with an estimated human population of 15 million.

Currently Malawi is sailing through the worst acute food shortages with nearly 8 million people in need of urgent food assistance.

It is anticipated that the coming in of the multi billion Kwacha projects targeting six districts of Dedza, Nkhotakota, Nkhata-bay, Salima, Lilongwe and Chikhwawa will help to improve food security among benefit households and the country at large.

Speaking to Capital FM when launching the program in Dedza district, the European Union Ambassador to Malawi renewed EUs commitment in fighting climate change hence helping farmers to respond to its effects.

Marchel Gerrmann stated that supporting agriculture has been at the core of a partnership with Malawi throughout four decades as such will remain so for the foreseeable future.

Gerrmann stressed that irrigation investments should be part of holistic approach to agriculture and that attracting private sector is critical to develop the sector.

The EU envoy disclosed that for the past years irrigation investments have not paid off in Malawi as such there was need to learn from such lessons.

He however challenged the government of Malawi to advance its quest for an enabling business environment to attract private sector investment in irrigation farming.

The Minister of Agriculture, irrigation and water development commended the initiative stating it will go a long way in sustaining communities’ livelihoods.

George Chaponda assured the donor community that Malawi will sustain the initiatives due to policies currently in place to mitigate and adapt climate change effects.

In place are policies that include the National agriculture policy, National irrigation master plan and the recently passed land bill among others.

Chaponda added that the initiative will see a lot of crops being cultivated in which the surplus Lilongwe will buy so as to minimize importation of the staple grain during crisis as the case now.

The project will run from 2016 till 2019, with 2,100 hectares of land being developed and will benefit nearly 45,000 domestic farmers who will be cultivating a wide large of  high value crops including maize, beans, sugar cane, rice, leafy vegetables and bananas among many other crop varieties.

Malawi can save a lot of public funds if mass rabies vaccinations are implemented, veterinarians have advised.

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