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Seal agri funding gaps, Parliament told

By watipaso mzungu:

Civil society organisations (CSOs) working in the agriculture sector have challenged members of Parliament (MPs) to seal smallholder farmer financing gaps in the proposed 2019/20 national budget if Malawi were to maximise agricultural production.

The CSOs, which include the National Smallholder Farmers Association of Malawi (Nasfam), Civil Society Agriculture Network (Cisanet), Africa Institute for Corporate Citizenship and Care Malawi, say there is a inequitable distribution of resources to programmes within the sectoral budget.

Nasfam Head of Policy and Communication and Cisanet Programmes Sub-Committee Chairperson, Beatrice Makwenda, made the observation on Wednesday night when presenting a budget analysis report to the Parliamentary Committee on Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development.

“There is an inequitable distribution of resources, especially when you look at various programmes within the sectoral budget. For example, livestock production has received less money [allocation] than programme-based budgeting principles,” Makwenda said.

Vice Chairperson of the Parliamentary Committee on Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development, Ulemu Chilapondwa, rated the concerns as genuine and timely.

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