USAID launches agricultural and nutrition extension project

United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Thursday launched feed the future strengthening Agricultural and Nutrition Extension Services project worth $70 million (SANE).

Speaking during the launch in Lilongwe, USA mission director, Doug Arbuckle commended the department of agricultural extension services for their success in presenting an application that qualified for the important new award.

“The launch of this program comes at a critical time because agriculture extension services in Malawi have for too long been treated as the poor step child of the Ministry of agriculture, underfunded and largely ignored,” he said.

He said the US government commends the Government of Malawi for starting to recognize that in the face of the largest humanitarian crisis in Malawi’s history, a focus on the delivery of subsidized inputs alone is no longer the answer to Malawi’s recurrent food insecurity.

“If you make ADMARC and your maize markets work better and more transparent, then we will provide technical assistance,” said Arbuckle.

According to Arbuckle if government of Malawi can make the most of this crisis to push through new reforms, the US believes that Malawi’s farmers will be able to produce more, the agriculture sector will become more attractive to private investment, and agriculture can become an engine for real economic growth.

He concluded by saying US understands that the government of Malawi faces a historical challenges and they will try to help the country.

Principal Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture, irrigation and water development, Erica Maganga says Government is happy for receiving the donation from USAID which will help people in their faming.

In his remarks Senior Traditional Authority of Kalumbu says they are happy for receiving this project because it will help more people living in his area.

Source: Malawi News Agency – MANA