The International Fund for Agricultural Development (Ifad) has stressed the need for the country to invest in the resilience of smallholder farmers as one way of maintaining food security gains which are being threatened by the after effects of El Niño and La Niña.
In a statement announcing his visit to Malawi from February 1 to 3, Ifad president Kanayo Nwanze said climate change is eroding the gains that countries like Malawi have made in poverty reduction and food security.
“Investing in the resilience of small family farms is investing in the resilience of food systems, the resilience of communities, and the strength of nations. In this era of climate change, the shocks that poor rural people face are multiplying,” he said.
According to the statement, Nwanze is expected to meet President Peter Mutharika and other key government officials, including the ministers of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation; Finance, Economic Planning and Development; Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development; Local Government and Rural Development; as well as representatives of development partners working in Malawi.
He will also visit two Ifad-supported projects—the Rural Livelihoods and Economic Enhancement Programmes (Rleep) and the Sustainable Agricultural Production Programme in the areas affected by the latest El Niño where he will meet smallholder farmers to discuss the impact of the programmes on their livelihoods and how they are coping with climate change.
Communication consultant for Rleep, Golie Nyirenda, said Nwanze will visit Mwati Farmers Cooperative Society Limited in Mchinji where he will interact with the members and visit a garden of a soya farmer, Patricia Jere.
In Malawi, since 1981, Ifad has financed 12 programmes and projects valued at $441.4 million, of which Ifad has contributed $224.9 million, directly benefiting more than 1.4 million rural households. n