The country’sVice-President, Saulos Chilima, has emphasised the need for the agriculture sector to recommend and incorporate initiatives under the Malawi Vision 2063 as the country looks at how to boost yields across the sector.
Chilima made the remarks in Lilongwe on Tuesday when he opened the 2021 Malawi Annual Agricultural Policy Conference.
Pillar number two of the Malawi Vision 2063 talks about agricultural commercialisation and productivity.
The Vice-President said it is important that the country looks at diversification; it should look at all crops, fish and livestock if the vision is to be realised.
“We need to make sure that our investments are giving us much better returns than we have seen in the past, and that is the message that we are sending across to all of us,” he said.
The two-day conference is being held under the theme ‘Supporting Agriculture Transformation in Malawi: Beyond Research to Implementation.’
Chilima said the theme resonates well with the Malawi Vision 2063 and the current administration’s commitment to agricultural development.
The second citizen said it is for that reason that the country needs to have a platform for researchers that would inform policy.
“The President and I are very committed to offer political will if it must come from the top in order for us to make strides.
“As we are addressing the will to transform and implement programs, it is for all of us to take part. It is a collective effort for all of us,” he stressed.
Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Agnes Nkusa Nkhoma, said agriculture operates in challenges as it lacks technical innovation, hence the need to find ways that would increase yields across the agricultural sector.
She said the conference had come at the right time as it would offer innovations for implementation.
Chairperson for MwAPATA Institute Board of Directors and Advisory Board, Prof Richard Mkandawire, said Malawi needs to build and strengthen research institutes in policy and interventions.
He said there is agent need in addressing the agricultural transformation agenda and as such, there is need to pay attention to evidence-based research with regards to policies.
Country Director for Smoke Free World and Agricultural Transformation Initiative, Candida Nakhumwa, emphasised on the need to interrogate policies if they are in line with the MW2063 Vision.
Nakhumwa, therefore, stated the importance of the conference, saying it would offer a platform that would mark pathways to move from research policy to implementation.
The conference has been organised by MwAPATA Institute in partnership with Ministry of Agriculture, CISANET, Agriculture Transformation Initiative, National Planning Commission, CARD and Malawi Confederation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (MCCCI) among others.
It will discuss agricultural commercialisation & diversification and policy research & practical solutions among other issues.
The conference is also expected to call to action various stakeholders, particularly government, in facilitating the agricultural transformation.