Government signs agreement to boost agriculture sector

By Mcloyd Chilangiza:

The government has signed a tripartite agreement for technical assistance through the Food and Agriculture Organisation (Fao) of the United Nations with funding from China to bolster the South-South Cooperation (SSC) project.

The initiative is aimed at modernising the agriculture sector to enhance food security.

The SSC Phase II project will spearhead the adoption of modern agricultural machinery and technology to improve mechanisation in farming and establish a molecular diagnostic and veterinary laboratory to enhance livestock health and production.

Speaking during the signing ceremony in Lilongwe, Minister of Agriculture Sam Kawale said the partnership signifies a crucial step in the country’s desire for a sustainable and productive agricultural sector.

Kawale said introduction of advanced agricultural machinery is a transformative development for Malawi’s agriculture, promising increased efficiency, reduced manual labour, and enhanced productivity.

“This not only boosts our agricultural output; but also creates employment

opportunities and elevates the livelihoods of our farmers. With the right tools, we empower our agricultural workforce to cultivate large areas, optimise resources and achieve high yields,” said

Fao representative, Zhijun Chen, reiterated the organisation’s commitment to facilitating and supporting the project’s implementation in collaboration with the government.

“South-South Cooperation project is trying to identify and promote those suitable technologies for the recipient countries. There are many advanced technologies and experiences,” Chen said.

Chinese Embassy Charge D’Affaires Wang Hao expressed optimism that the Chinese government would continue supporting Malawi in her quest to avert food insecurity and enhance capacity building.

“I believe there is huge potential for our two countries to conduct agriculture cooperation,” Hao said.

Phase II of the project is aimed at enhancing agricultural development in Malawi by aligning with the National Agriculture Investment Plan and Fao’s goals, providing technical assistance, capacity development, and addressing key focus areas to improve food security, reduce poverty and promote sustainable agriculture.

The Chinese government has allocated $1.4 million for implementation of the project for two years.