Malawi is poised to benefit from an inflow of technology transfer and knowledge sharing in the agriculture sector, thanks to the Agricultural Technology Transfer (AgriTT) launched on Thursday in Lilongwe.
The project, according to the Minister of Agriculture and Food Security James Munthali is expected to improve Malawi’s food security through accelerated technology transfer and knowledge sharing.
AgriTT is a new initiative by the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DfID), China, and governments of Malawi and Uganda.
“It will promote the transfer of agricultural technologies, knowledge and management innovations, especially from China, to other developing countries through piloting and collaborative research,” said Munthali.
The launch of the project comes at a time when local agriculture experts are complaining that Malawi’s agricultural productivity per unit of land is said to be low, making the agriculture sector’s contribution to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to be stagnant for years.
During the launch, it was said that AgriTT project will support a pilot development project on tilapia aquaculture beginning October 2013 to March 2016.
Commenting on the pilot project, Munthali observed that the fisheries sector in Malawi continues to play a key role in the national economy, contributing to employment, food security, nutrition and overall economic growth.
Currently, the aquaculture sector only contributes seven percent of total fisheries production in Malawi.
“There is a very high potential for aquaculture development in Malawi, at both small and medium scale as well as at large scale commercial levels.”
China is currently the largest aquaculture producer in the world and as such there are high hopes that Malawi will benefit greatly from the technology transfer in aquaculture through the pilot project.
During the launch, Head of DfID China Chris Chalmers explained that the project will provide a platform to extend technologies tailored to needs and conditions of developing countries such as Malawi.