Blantyre, Centre for Environmental Policy and Advocacy (CEPA) says livestock production can play a major role in improving the country’s economy if government takes a key role in the efforts geared towards livestock production.
CEPA Programme Director Hebert Malukomo, made the observation in an interview with Malawi News Agency (MANA) on Tuesday ahead of Friday’s national debate on challenges and prospects of improving livestock which CEPA has organised.
Malukomo said the country’s economy is dependent on agriculture and part of that is livestock production which is a key pillar of the agricultural sector.
We have a policy framework that encourages livestock production. We have institution structure in place, however, we have noted over time we are not where we should be as far as livestock development is concerned.
Over time, we have noted that there are many challenges in the sector which farmers are facing, like the dwindling of the role of government due to opening up to private sector to help the farmers, he said.
He added that Malawi has an enabling environment for livestock development but what was lacking was the political will, prioritization and financing of the sector.
The government needs to play a key role and that requires constant monitoring to see what are efficiencies and inefficiencies in the system because the private sector has its own interest which focuses on where it is economically safe to invest, he added.
Malukomo said making extension services in the agricultural sector pluralistic is good, but the trend has left ordinary farmers in an awkward situation as they also need support for livestock production.
Spokesperson in the Ministry of Agriculture and Water Development, Osborn Tsoka, said the ministry is sensitizing farmers through extension structures on how to get organized and access services important to livestock production.
The services are related to breeding stock and feeding resources, management skills, pharmaceutical marketing and different expertise related to livestock production.
The panel discussion will take place in Lilongwe at Crossroads Hotel auditorium with funding from Development Fund of Norway. The panelists will include representatives from the Department of Animal Health and Livestock Development, LUANA and trustees of promotional programme associations.
Source: Malawi News Agency MANA