Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development and its key partners have developed a National Agriculture Investment Plan (NAIP) to guide players in directing their resources in the sector.
Civil Society Agriculture Network (CisaNet) director of programmes Alfred Kambwiri said this in Mangochi on Thursday during a sensitisation meeting on the draft NAIP.
Kambwiri said the plan would run for five years, from 2018 -2022, describing it as a very useful tool that would boost agricultural investment in the country.
“When this NAIP is formally approved, it means that all partners in the agriculture sector, both in the public, private and also non-state actors, will begin to realign their investments in line with the priority areas that this investment plan has proposed,” he said.
According to Kambwiri, NAIP’s priority areas include mechanisation, inter-ministerial coordination, inclusive investment and commercialisation.
He noted that there were a number of inefficiencies in public service delivery in the agriculture sector, saying such shortfalls created room for non-state actors to operate in the sector to fill the gaps.
He, therefore, cited the current yawning extension worker-to-farmer ratio as one such gaps where the non-state actors would move in to complement government in that respect.
“It is important that we, who are the extension workers in the non-state sector, commit ourselves to help bridge the gaps that are there both at EPA [extension planning area] and district level,” Kambwiri added.
CisaNet is conducting sensitisation meetings in district councils to sensitise stakeholders on the draft NAIP with funding from Concern Worldwide under Scaling Climate Smart Agriculture through Strengthened Agriculture Extension Systems in Malawi. n