Deputy Minister of Agriculture Agnes Mkusa Nkhoma has reaffirmed the government’s commitment to develop and implement policies that speak to the needs and aspirations of smallholder farmers in the country.
She made the remarks on Saturday when she opened a virtual meeting of the 24th annual general conference of the National Smallholder Farmers’ Association of Malawi (Nasfam).
The conference was held under the theme ‘Building Resilient and Sustainable Farmer Enterprises’.
“The challenging questions that we are committed to address are, among others, how can we put relevant policies that change the story for smallholder farmers?” Mkusa Nkhoma said.
She then commended Nasfam for promoting model villages as a holistic approach to promoting climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies.
Nasfam Board Chairperson Clara Malikula said the Covid pandemic had heavily affected smallholder farmers in the country.
She then hailed the government for involving Nasfam in the distribution of farm inputs in the Affordable Input Programmen (AIP).
Malikula said involvement of private sector players with infrastructures in the remote areas is key in ensuring effective and timely distribution of inputs.
“AIP has proven to be a pathway to dealing with food security problems thereby giving the government and its partners time to focus on commercial activities that will help boost the economy.
“The increase in beneficiaries of the programme will ensure that most smallholder farmers access affordable inputs and, if properly utilised, it will boost both food and financial security as farmers will have more than enough food requirements,” she said.