Sep 19, 2017 Last Updated 8:40 AM, Sep 19, 2017
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Increased cases of gender based violence are worrying the government of Malawi.

The statement was made by the Minister responsible for such issues, Jean Kalirani who has since called on the general public to help in eradicating such cases.

She said her Ministry is receiving reports of increasing cases of gender based violence with some of them bordering on barbaric killings.

Over the last couple of months, the country has witnessed some of the worst forms of gender based violence, according to the minister.

She cited cases of the young woman killed by her ex-boyfriend in Chilinde, Lilongwe.

And another woman in Mzuzu who was killed together with her child by her husband while another is a case of woman stabbed by her business client.

The minister, therefore, stated that government is working hand in hand with international organisations in order to address issues of gender based violence against women and children in the country.

The alarming statistics have pushed activists to call for a march hoping to raise awareness on the matter.

Slated for this Thursday in the capital city, the march is expected to have both men and women participating and they will all be dressed in black as they make their way to deliver a petition to the ministry of gender.

Member of Parliament (MP) for Karonga central constituency Frank Mwenefumbo has urged Malawians to forge ahead in demanding meaningful development projects rather than applauding government for single development projects

Mwenefumbo who is of the Alliance For Democracy (AFORD) party, cited the Karonga-Chitipa road as an example of how government is applauded when there is usually no need to do so.

This was revealed on Tuesday during a political rally in Chitipa district.

The Legislator emphasised that it is high time Malawians in the northern region particularly Karonga and Chitipa districts have been denied their right to development and continue to be blindfolded by the aforementioned road which acts as a campaign tool for the ruling parties to woe their vote.

“Much as we appreciate the fact that the Karonga-Chitipa road was constructed, we need more of such projects in the districts.

The people of Chitipa are in need of other projects like schools, hospitals as well as the profitable Chitipa to Nthalire via Rumphi road that leads to Nyika national park,” added the legislator.

Apart from tackling the issue of development in the northern region, Mwenifumbo also addressed the current scramble for Lake Malawi with Tanzania at the rally.

The MP is of the view that if Capital Hill maintained its relationship with Dodoma it would do the country more good than harm.

He also believes that if government involved local leaders from Karonga and Chitipa the matter would be resolved amicably.

The Government is expected to spend over MK75 Million to host the first ever Tourism Expo 2017 in Lilongwe.

The Minister of Industry, Trade and Tourism, Henry Mussa disclosed this in Lilongwe during a press briefing ahead of the event set for August 30 to September 1.

Mussa reveals that the Ministry will also get support from various stakeholders in the tourism industry.

So far, the Ministry has received over MK25 million in pledges for the event which is aimed to promote domestic tourism, where Small and Medium Enterprises-SMEs will also take part.

Mussa acknowledges that SMEs make a huge contribution to the country’s economy, therefore they need to build linkages with the ICT, Banking and Transport sectors to boost tourism.

The main objective of the expo is to provide a platform for the participants to interface and experience first-hand, Malawi’s tourism products.

The participants include international and regional buyers, tourism authorities and ministries responsible for tourism, the academia and the general public.

It is also hoped that the event will help participants share best practices on how to network and package Malawi’s tourism products for increased returns.

A lawmaker in Malawi's central region district of Ntcheu is asking government to award contracts to firms that are able to deliver.

This comes amidst observations that Farm Input Subsidy Program supples usually fail to meet expectations.

In the past years most of the suppliers did not have structures in remote areas and had challenges in transporting the inputs to beneficiaries.

The development follows a report presented to Ntcheu district council by agriculture sub- committee of the council on how the program has performed in the district for the 2016/17 farming season.

Speaking to Capital FM, legislator for Ntcheu west constituency expressed concern on how beneficiaries in his constituency were struggling to access the farm inputs.

Mwai Kamuyambeni disclosed that people were forced to cover a distance of close to 90 kilometers to buy the inputs in which they could also spend a day or two days before accessing them.

"People in my constituency had difficulties in accessing the inputs during the implementation due to mobility challenges.

Many were forced to cover long distances with other sleeping at selling points to access the inputs," Kamuyambeni explained.

The Ntcheu West legislator however suggested to government to assess contractors before awarding them contracts.

He stated that this will help to address mobility challenges faced by benefiting communities during the 2016 /17 program.

During the 2016/17 farming season, government awarded 60% contract to over 20 private traders in the procurement and retailing of the inputs to benefiting farming households.

The remaining 40% was shared by government controlled companies thus Agriculture Development Marketing Corporation (ADMARC) and Smallholder Farmers Fertilizer Revolving Fund Malawi (SFFRFM).

Challenges being faced in the use of Cypermetherin to combat the fall army worm have forced Malawi’s ministry of agriculture to find an alternative.

According to officials at the ministry, they are now using a chemical known as  Dursban.

The worms which have wrecked havoc in some parts of the country have proved to be destructive if not dealt with a sense of urgency.

The switch is said to be due to the fact that the chemical Cypermethrin has become less effective in some areas.

Speaking at Kambwiri Sele Irrigation Scheme in Salima at the start of a five day media tour, George Lungu who is Principal Agriculture Officer in the ministry of Agriculture responsible for Crop Protection said Cypermethrin has become resistant for the two years it has been used.

The aim of the tour is to visit irrigation schemes which have been affected by the fall army worms in the districts of Salima, Balaka and Chikwawa.

"We have realised that Cypermethrin is now not working that is after some farmers reported that it's no longer having any impact in their farms, so ,as the ministry we have decided to change Cypmetherin to Dursban starting this farming season," Lungu explained.

Lungu went on further to say that the ministry has procured 10,000 litres of Dursban pesticide which will be distributed to farmers throughout the country.

The European Union also provided 16,000 litres of the pesticide to help eliminate the pests.

“As a ministry we think that this procurement is more than enough to address the problem we have at hand,"

“The new chemical will assist farmers even better, but just like Cypermetherin, we wil have to change it every two years as it will become resistant,” the principal secretary added.

One of the lead farmers at the scheme, Lezita Banda said that the fall army worm is now becoming difficult to manage as the current pesticide seems to not be working.

She said they have discovered other ways of dealing with the worm by using traditional medicine which have proven to be more effective.

The fall army worms have among other crops in Salima district destroyed maize, millet, rice, pepper and sugarcane.

The tour was organised by the ministry of agriculture with financial assistance from the Feed the Future's Strengthening Agriculture and Nutrition Extension (SANE) project. 

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