President Peter Mutharika has said one of the problems in the country is that most people think farming is not for educated people but those who cannot get jobs in the office.
Speaking during the second Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (Luanar) congregation in Lilongwe Wednesday, Mutharika described the thinking as a wrong mindset.
He said the first step towards becoming a predominantly producing and exporting nation is agriculture and Luanar has a critical role to play in the process of achieving such a dream.
“Go to America or Australia or Argentina, you will find people with doctorate degrees pursuing farming as a profession. Let us recognise the dignity of farming. We must promote dignity of farming. We must change our mindset to recognise the prestige of being a farmer. We must be proud to take up agriculture as a profession. We don’t train farmers to be in the office. We must train farmers to be on the farm,” Mutharika said.
He told the students who have graduated to ensure integrity in whatever they will be doing in life, saying a degree is not a destination but a necessary step in the journey of life.
“The ultimate goal of university education is not to earn a degree. The ultimate goal of university education is to attain the wisdom of life, fine mind and the ability to find solutions to questions that matter in your personal life and your society. Therefore, it is not the degree you earn that matters, it is what you do from here that matters,” he said.
Mutharika said the mission of his generation was to liberate the country from colonial oppression and the one-party system and the mission now is to develop Malawi.
Luanar Council Chairperson, Professor James Seyani, said the 608 graduates have what it takes to change society.
The university Vice-Chancellor, Professor George Kanyama Phiri, said the university has grown so big, five years after the delinking of Bunda College of Agriculture from the University of Malawi and currently the university has 9,083 enrolled students from 2,337 in 2012.
“Four hundred and sixteen articles by our researchers have also been published in international journals with 50 published between 2017 and 2018,” Kanyama Phiri said.
Kanyama said it is the university’s hope that the business ventures including one stop centre and a seed company will relieve it from government subvention.
The students have been awarded diplomas, bachelor’s degrees, master’s degrees and PhDs in various agriculture and natural resources programmes that the university offers.
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