The Africa Institute for Corporate Citizenship (AICC) has emphasised the need for higher agricultural productivity and expanded marketing engagements for smallholder farmers if the sector is to be revitalised.
This is contained in a Reflection Brief on the agriculture sector published by the institute at the weekend, titled Overloaded Agriculture Transformation Agenda in Malawi: Deflated at Take-off.
“We contend that agriculture transformation agenda in its present form is heavily overloaded and will sadly succeed in inaction and thinness of efforts. If we want agriculture transformation in Malawi, let the agenda squarely fall in the abode of the same,” reads the brief.
In an interview, AICC Chief Executive Officer Felix Lombe said the agenda is loaded and has taken on board extraneous items that, can be attended to by specialised sectors and stakeholders.
“The non-governmental organisations sector is awash with projects styled to transform agriculture which at a quick glance has minimal interventions in the key tenets of the same.
“The flagship transformation programmes initiated in the past three years mainly by development partners have, besides improved productivity, ironically loaded themselves with early childhood, nutrition and WASH interventions,” Lombe said.
He said doubling or tripling productivity on its own is a tall order and should be given the necessary attention and resources.
According to Lombe, increasing market engagement by actors and enhancing value addition remains an essential step towards revitalising the sector.
The Malawi 2063 development agenda stipulates that, by the 2063, Malawi should become a vibrant knowledge-based economy with a strong and competitive manufacturing industry that is driven by a productive and commercially vibrant agriculture and mining sector.