Sunday, October 2

Analyst commends government on new agriculture sector guidelines

By Staff Writer:

A renowned agriculture policy analyst Tamani Nkhono has commended government for formulating new policy guidelines aimed at improving the country’s agricultural sector.

Government of Malawi through the Ministry of Agriculture announced the new policy guidelines on Monday and said they are effective starting from June 1, 2022.

The new guidelines among other things will effective this year see farmers operating in cooperatives if they are to benefit from government’s Agriculture related pogrammes like the Affordable Input Programme (AIP) and various extension services initiatives.

In an interview, Nkhono Mvula said bringing farmers together in a club or a cooperative will help towards achieving Agriculture Commercialisation since “farmers will now be able to easily access credits, extension services as well as markets”.

Nkhono Mvula has since urged government to clearly define the role of cooperatives if the new arrangement is to succeed.

According to Nkhono, this is not the first time the ministry has introduced such an initiative but what has been lacking in the past arrangement was absence of a clear work plan for such cooperatives hence failure to achieve intended goal.

“Formation of such cooperatives needs a lot of close monitoring and supervision through extension services and now what government needs to do is improve capacity of extension workers if this arrangement is not going to face challenges,” said Nkhono.

Meanwhile Nkhono has proposed formation of a special taskforce which will be overseeing the whole process. He said the taskforce should involve players from the private sector, NGOs and all other players involved in Agriculture extension and their roles must be clearly defined.

 

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