By Chimwemwe Njoloma:
MwAPATA Institute and CISANET on Wednesday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) as a commitment gesture to work together in promoting agriculture policy for transformation.
Together, the two institutions will be collaborating on agriculture policy research, advocacy and stakeholders mobilization to build consensus on policy issues and needed Reforms for agricultural transformation in Malawi.
Speaking in an interview on Wednesday, Acting Executive Director for MwAPATA, William Chadza said the agreement is very crucial to Malawi in attaining the vision 2063 agenda.
Chadza said for the institutions to achieve one of the pillars in the vision which is agricultural productivity and commercialization, it needs the agricultural sector to transform and for that to happen, it is important that research is undertaken.
“Research will be important so that the right decisions are made, the right resources are allocated and right programmes are undertaken to ensure that we increase productivity and enhance commercialization of the agricultural sector.”
“We believe that signing the MoU with CISANET will be very important because we are going to provide them with empirical evidence which they can use for their advocacy work in engaging and influencing various decisions in the agricultural sector,” said Chadza.
He added that he hopes that their collaboration with CISANET is going to enrich their research agenda particularly on how they define their demand and driven research.
On her part, National Director for CISANET, Pamela Kuwali said the partnership will enable her organization to benefit from the research work MwAPATA undertakes us it enhances the quality of advocacy products they produce.
“One of our critical areas is to ensure that whatever we are bringing on table is backed with evidence specially as we engage for policy change.”
“The partnership will allow us to use the research, evidence or findings that generated out of MwAPATA’s work,” said Kuwali.
She added that CISANET works with district networks, Community Based Organizations (CBOs) hence the need for them to understand the challenges that Malawian farmers and other agriculture key prayers are facing at the grassroots.
“We will collect issues from the ground and feed them to MwAPATA to contribute towards their research agenda. As you can see, the relationship is going to be symbiotic as we will benefit from their research work and they will in turn benefit from our work on the grass root,” she said.
In addition, the two institutions will collaborate in engaging decision makers in discussions aimed at finding feasible solutions to problems facing the agricultural sector with ultimate objective of improving the performance of the sector for sustainable development and wealth creation.
The two will also align projects to enhance coordination and avoiding duplication of efforts between the parties.