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Luanar establishes innovation centre

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THE Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (Luanar) at the weekend launched the Green Innovation Centre which is being financed by German International Cooperation (GIZ).

The centre will not only research and come up with new and improved agriculture soft and hardware but will also facilitate repairs of agricultural machinery in the field.

Speaking when he launched the centre in Lilongwe, GIZ Country Director Matthias Rompel said they are implementing two programmes on behalf of the German government in collaboration with their Malawian counterparts that focus on private sector development in agriculture and beyond.

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He said the programmes are called More Income and Employment in Rural Areas in Malawi (Miera) and Green Innovation Centres for the Agriculture and Food Sector (Gicafs).

“We think this is well invested resources since improved and sustained value creation in agriculture and other productive sectors is more important than ever,” Rompel said.

He also said the development of a thriving private sector will be the powerhouse for a future Malawi as it will help to produce decent work, income for smallholders, secure food and nutrition security at household level and generate tax revenues for government.

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Rompel also said within the Green Innovation Centres Programme, they see Malawi being one out of 13 countries globally, which benefit from a Green Innovation Centre under the umbrella of the One World-No Hunger Initiative of Germany’s Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development.

“The Green Innovation Centres Programme aims to use innovation in the agriculture and food sector to boost the incomes of smallholders, create more employment opportunities, and to increase regional food supplies,” he said.

As a further step in this collaboration, Rompel signaled the launch by handing over to Luanar’s NRC campus, where the centre is situated, a K12 million worth mobile workshop van with a special construction to facilitate repairs of agricultural machinery in the field.

Luanar’s Professor Emmanuel Kaunda explained during the launch that part of the reason this is called innovation centre is because it is going to revolutionize Malawi’s mechanised agriculture.

“One thing that will happen is that while we are doing this, we will be testing; it’s more less what we call action researching,” he said.

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