Turn Around strategy: APM Launching National Agriculture and Irrigation policies

President Arthur Peter Mutharika will today Wednesday launch two key national blueprints that will guide Agriculture and Irrigation policy directions as the country moves towards full commercialization of the sector.

The function will be held at the Bingu International Conference Centre (BICC) and is expected to bring together a cross section of policy makers ranging from government and private technocrats, non governmental organizations, religious bodies, academia special interest groups among the lot.

The two policies are the National Agriculture Policy (NAP) and National Irrigation Policy (NIP).

NAP has been developed to provide clear and comprehensive policy guidance in agriculture.

The specific objective of the NAP is to guide Malawi to achieve transformation of the agriculture sector. More specifically,
this policy guides us towards increasing production, productivity, and real
farm incomes.

It is aligned to Malawi’s Vision 2020 and the Malawi Growth and Development Strategy II, which are the overarching long-term and medium-term development strategies for Malawi respectively.

The policy will inform the agricultural content of the next medium-term development strategy.

The NIP on the other hand seeks to provide guidance to all stakeholders in the provision of irrigation goods, works and services as well as interventions that will facilitate improved food security, increased nutrition and sustainable economic growth.

The current DPP regime – same with the Bingu leadership- has placed intensive and mechanized irrigation as one of the pillars of development under the Greenbelt Initiative (GBI which will see some 100, 000 hectares of land irrigated along the lakeshore and main rivers across the country.

The irrigation potential in Malawi remains, largely, unexploited. Out of the
estimated potential of 407,8621 hectares, only about 104,6342 hectares have
been developed for irrigation purposes representing 25% of the potential
area.

According to a statement from Capital Hill we have in our possession, the NIP is consistent with the aspirations of Malawians as reflected in other policy blueprints such as Malawi Growth and Development II (MGDS II); the Comprehensive African Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP); and the Sustainable Development Goals.

The Policy recognises the provisions in the Constitution by encouraging participation of all gender groups, and those affected by HIV and AIDS. The policy also recognises the need for sustainable natural resources management.

With the two policies in place Malawi is assured of a rapid paradigm shift from subsistence and consuming farming to commercial, large scale and exporting one.

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