Japanese Ambassador calls on Malawi farmers to be innovative

Japanese Ambassador to Malawi, Shuichiro Nishioka has called on Malawi farmers to be quite innovative in their farming practices in-order for them to be self reliant and food secure.

The Japanese Ambassador made the plea recently, at Chikangawa EPA in Mzimba during official closing ceremony for a project of better livelihoods and self -reliance of farmers in the district implemented by Japanese Overseas Coorporation Association with funding from the government of Japan under the Grant Assistance for Japanese NGOs projects.

Nishioka said farmers need to be innovative by utilizing new farming technologies and the locally available resources to the fullest in order for them to be self-reliant and food secure to further improve their livelihoods.

The Ambassador said the project focused on capacity building on value addition, marketing, cash crops and livestock and income diversification which has helped farmers to be more self-reliant, where they are able to purchase farm input and send children to school, apart from venturing into small scale businesses.

He said” I would like to commend the government of Malawi and all stakeholders for the efforts to transform the agricultural sector.

“There is need to invest in improved agricultural productivity, create conducive agriculture markets and invest in value addition and irrigation farming to ensure farmers are food secure and their livelihood is improved.”

The Ambassador further reiterates that government of Japan remains committed to support the agriculture sector in Malawi.

Chief Director for Agriculture, irrigation and water development, Bright Kumwembe, thanked the government of Japan for the project urged the Malawian farmers to keep practicing the skills learnt from the project as one way of sustaining the programme.

Kumwembe said the government will soon launch National agricultural and irrigation policy to harness the efforts farmers do to improve on the technologies and expand irrigation ensure the country has sufficient food which the ministry believes that would be a beginning of Agricultural revolution in Malawi.

One of the beneficiaries from the project, Austina Nyathi said Joca project has helped her and the family a lot as she is able to grow garlic through irrigation.

She said through her garlic business she has been able to support the family and even pay school fees for her three children in secondary school.

Nyathi said “I produce over 30 Tins of garlic when I grow and a tin can go not less than MK25000. It is quite rewarding.

“However, we still bemoan access to good markets because vendors are still ripping from our sweat.”

Source: Malawi News Agency – MANA.