The National Planning Commission (NPC) on Thursday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Malawi Agriculture Advancement and Transformation Agenda (Mwapata) Institute towards strengthening collaboration between the two institutions.
Speaking in Lilongwe after signing the agreement, NPC Director General, Thomas Munthali, said the agriculture sector is key to the country’s transformative agenda.
According to Munthali, over the years, Malawians have realised some of the challenges facing the agriculture sector.
He, however, said what is critical moving forward is for Malawi to generate evidence based solutions on how to deal with the various challenges rocking the agriculture sector.
“As an institution leading the implementation of Malawi’s long term vision, the thought of bringing Mwapata on board so that it generates evidence on how we, as a country, could address some of the challenges in the agriculture sector,” Munthali said.
He added that time was gone when the country would just import solutions from other countries, saying it is critical to generate homegrown solutions on how best to tackle some of the challenges the country faces in agriculture.
According to Munthali, NPC will also work with other research institutions in other areas of the economy.
Mwapata Institute Acting Executive Director, William Chadza, said signing of the MoU cements the working relationship between the two institutions.
Chadza added that the MoU gives Mwapata Institute the legitimacy as a think-tank in Malawi.
NPC was established through an Act of Parliament with the mandate to coordinate development of long and medium term national development plans for Malawi and to oversee their implementation and to coordinate efforts of different stakeholders in achieving common development objectives.
Mwapata Institute, on the other hand, is an independent agricultural policy think tank in Malawi. The institute engages the Government of Malawi, private sector, and civil society stakeholders in applied policy analysis, policy outreach, capacity building, and policy coordination.