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Malawi off-track in hunger fight

MUSOPOLE— We are said to be progressing well nonetheless

The third Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) Biennial Review Report shows that Malawi is off-track in attaining most of the commitments it signed in the 2013 Malabo- [Equatorial Guinea] Declaration.

Some of the commitments include ending hunger by 2025, enhancing investment finance in agriculture and climate variability, among others.

According to the report, in 2021, the country scored 3.38 points out of 10 on ending hunger, a nominal increase from 3.31 points scored in the year 2019.

In 2017, the score stood at 2.09, with Ministry of Agriculture Chief Economist Charles Chinkhutha admitting, when he presented the report, that Malawi is off-track in meeting some of its commitments.

In specific categories under the ending hunger commitment, Malawi has also not done well in food security and nutrition, with a score of 3.37 out of 10 against that minimum benchmark of five points.

Malawi remains in the red zone on matters of food safety, as it scored 1.61 points in 2019 and has now bagged 1.89 points.

Chinkhutha said, in his presentation, that there are several areas that Malawi has to work on if it were to achieve the goal of halving poverty through agriculture by 2025.

“We are on track and progressing well in some areas but there are areas that we need to work on. There are other areas we could have done well in but we haven’t— perhaps due to the unavailability of data,” he said.

In his comment, Deputy Director of Planning in the Ministry of Agriculture Readwell Musopole said the country’s performance is not impressive and called for more action.

“We are not happy with the performance: Year one, 2017, we were on track; year two, we were not on track and, again, we have been rated to be not on track.

“But, since we are looking at the next 10 years since the assessments began, we are said to be progressing well nonetheless,” Musopole said.

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