Malawi Congress Party (MCP) on Friday signed a pledge card with Oxfam Malawi in which it committed to ensuring accessible and profitable agricultural markets if voted into power in the forthcoming elections.
Speaking during the signing ceremony at Nkhotakota Community ground, MCP president Lazarus Chakwera said his party felt privileged to be the first to make the pledge, which is aimed at restoring functional produce markets in the country.
Said Chakwera: “If voted into power, MCP will be entailed to rethink about the fiscal year so as to provide adequate and timely funding to the Ministry of Agriculture and the rest of the government departments. This will enable both our farmers to sell their produce timely and government to plan properly.”
During the ceremony, five aspiring members of Parliament (MPs) also signed the pledge card.
In his remarks, Oxfam Malawi media and communications coordinator Daud Kayisi said the solution to functional agricultural markets starts with political leaders because they are policy makers.
“The president, members of the Cabinet and parliamentarians have a big role in ensuring that smallholder farmers have access to functional agricultural markets through making and approving sound laws and policies,” said Kayisi.
He stressed that the development of a comprehensive standalone agricultural marketing policy is important as it will provide guidance on produce buyer regulation as well as setting standards and quality of produce.
Oxfam is providing an opportunity to all presidential and parliamentary candidates contesting in the May elections to publicly commit to all Malawians and constituents and what they will do to improve farmers; access to agricultural markets.