Farmers Union of Malawi (FUM), a representative body of farmers, has urged government to ensure consistency in the implementation of the National Agriculture Policy (NAP) and the National Irrigation Policy (NIP).
The two polices were launched last week in Lilongwe by President Peter Mutharika.
FUM chief executive officer Prince Kapondamgaga while describing the two policies as bold to transform the agriculture sector, stressed that inconsistency in the implementation of policies has in the past hindered growth of the agriculture sector.
Said Kapondamgaga: “The major challenge for our nation is inconsistency in the implementation of priorities set out in our policy documents.”
He said FUM expects that government will provide requisite leadership and realistic investment frameworks based on core functions of public, non-State actors and development partners to ensure that commitments set out in the two policies are achieved.
Kapondamgaga called for continued macroeconomic management and fiscal discipline as well as consistent policy reforms, especially on areas that Malawi is lagging behind.
He said FUM has strived to fully align its new five-year strategic plan (2017-2022) to the priorities that government has outlined in the two policies.
FUM’s new strategic plan focuses on enhancing farmers’ incomes through increasing farmer productivity, food and export diversification and access to structured markets.
In his remarks at the launch, Mutharika admitted inconsistencies in some sub-sector policies, but assured that government will endeavour to ensure that the two policies are consistently implemented if Malawi is to transform its agriculture sector.
“We can only make the most out of our agriculture sector if we plan well, but our past years tell a different story. We did not plan well.
“We have not maximised the potential of the agriculture sector for a number of reasons,” he said.
United States of America Ambassador Virginia Palmer said the policies have potential to break the cycle of food insecurity.