The country’s agriculture sector could greatly improve if policies and the entire institutional framework are in line with the current trends in the sector, Civil Society Agriculture Network (CisaNet) has advised.
CisaNet national coordinator Tamani Nkhono-Mvula in response to an emailed questionnaire last week said Malawi has good policies, but lacks the capacity and will to implement them.
“Once all the policies have been revised, there will be need for a strong political will to allocate resources to ensure that those good policies are being well operationalised because this is one of the challenges we have in this country,” he said.
Besides proposing a sound implementation process of the reforms, Nkhono-Mvula recommended a recreation of a well functioning Agriculture Development and Marketing Corporation (Admarc), saying access to markets remains one of the major challenges affecting the growth of the agriculture sector.
He said a sound marketing system could go a long way in helping smallholder producers to access stable and predictable markets.
Added Nkhono-Mvula: “We hope that the current reforms taking place within the [agriculture] sector, but also in the public sector, will take a serious look at how entities such as Admarc could be put to optimum use even in its current state to address challenges faced by smallholder farmers.”
“Our agriculture sector is also one that is not very much diversified as we still rely on maize and tobacco as food and commercial crops respectively. If something happens to these crops, the whole agriculture sector is affected,” he said.