The National Planning Commission (NPC) has said Malawi needs big investments in livestock, fisheries, fruit canning and textiles sectors to build a niche which can be used as centre of production in the region under the Sadc value-chain agenda.
NPC Director of Development Planning Grace Kumchulesi said this during the Agribusiness Deal Room organised by the Africa Green Revolution Forum (AGRF) in Lilongwe.
“Absence of competitive markets for agricultural produce as one of the major factors affecting smallholder farmers in most African countries, hence the need for Agribusiness Deal Room to facilitates substantive transaction-centred dialogue and connections amongst key stakeholders in Agribusiness,” Kumchulesi said
Speaking during the dialogue on Wednesday evening, Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) board chairpersons Hailemariam Dessalegn said lack of competitive market has been one of the challenges haunting smallholder farmers in Africa.
“In the next agriculture strategy, will be focusing on marketing and trade for agriculture. So, we will be looking into how to make a working market for smallholder farmers to get better prices for their produce” Dessalegn said.
Minister of Agriculture Lobin Lowe said Malawi has for a long time invested huge resources in subsistence farming, which failed to transform the sector.
“The coming and the input from the dialogue will motivate the government to invest in agriculture commercialisation,” Lowe said.
The AGRF is one of the world’s premier forums for African agriculture that brings together stakeholders in the agricultural landscape to take practical actions and share lessons that will move African agriculture forward.
The AGRF is championed by a Partners Group that is made up of a coalition of leading actors in African agriculture all focused on putting farmers at the center of the continent’s growing economies.