By Isaac Salima:
Food and Agriculture Organisation (Fao) sub- Southern African Region Coordinator Patrice Talla has reaffirmed the organisation’s commitment to ensuring that Malawi is food secure.
Talla said this after visiting areas where Fao is, in collaboration with the Malawi Government, implementing projects in Thyolo and Mulanje districts.
Through the Kulima Programme, the organisation has, using funds from the European Union, been training community-based facilitators to impart knowledge in fellow farmers to increase incomes, employment and food security.
Talla first toured Thuchila Residential Training Centre, where the organisation is running a farmer field school, before making a symbolic handover of bicycles to community-based facilitators to ease mobility challenges they face.
“I am impressed with what I have seen because, through our intervention, it seems that the country is on track in ensuring that households are food secure.
“What is also encouraging is that community-based facilitators are committed to the cause of training fellow farmers in these farming techniques, meaning that thousands of farmers have been trained. What is important is that, through the training they are receiving, they have improved [crop and animal] production and also understood that farming is a business,” Talla said.
Fao Country Representative Zhijun Chen said, despite facing some challenges, the project is achieving its intended purpose.
“The country is implementing the Malawi 2063 vision and Fao has been supporting it in this process with a primary focus on food security. And what we have seen, through this tour, augurs with that vision because, now, farmers are practising crop diversification and commercial farming,” Chen said.
One of the community-based facilitators Misheck Amon hailed the organisation for providing the bicycles.
The country has lately been experiencing food shortages due to, among other things, unreliable rainfall and natural disasters.
The Malawi IPC Chronic Food Insecurity analysis conducted in February 2022 and published in May 2022 projects that approximately 5.4 million people in the country are facing moderate to severe chronic food insecurity.