Malawi President today urged the agriculture sector in the country to think outside the box and be more innovative in the wake of climate change.
The President was speaking in Blantyre when he officially opened the 11th National Agriculture Fair at the Chichiri Trade Fair Grounds.
Mutharika said climate change poses a risk to crop yields and the agriculture sector in the country; hence farmers should use irrigation and technology to improve crop yields so that the country can achieve real economic growth.
“That is why my government will revive the Greenbelt initiative, to maximise the use of irrigation in most parts of the country,” he said.
Mutharika also said his government will continue to support the sector to achieve notable economic growth by putting in place policies that support development of the sector.
This year the agriculture fair is being held under the theme: “Agriculture: A Basis for Inclusive Economic Growth.”
President Mutharika arrived just before noon at the venue and he was welcomed by president of the Malawi Confederation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry Newton Kambala and Minister of Agriculture Dr Allan Chiyembekeza.
Mutharika visited various exhibitors’ pavilions before presenting awards to some of the participants.
In his speech Kambala called on Mutharika’s government to settle K173 billion in arrears which the private sector is owed in services and goods supplied to Malawi Government.
He said the private sector in Malawi —dubbed as the engine room of the economy—cannot thrive when government stifles it by not paying for services.
“Government must be committed to take action to bring about a vibrant private sector in this country. The private sector has seen no action in a long time,” Kambala said.
So far over 65 participants including exhibitors throughout the whole value chain from research, input suppliers and producers (including farmer organizations), processors and buyers of agriculture produce and service providers are taking part in the fair.
The 11th National Agriculture Fair will run from 28 to 30 August.