President Lazarus Chakwera has accepted an Alliance for Green Revolution (Agra) proposal to create Malawi’s Agricultural Transformation Agency (ATA).
In a statement issued yesterday by Agra, the agreement was made on Monday at Kamuzu Palace in Lilongwe when Chakwera met Agra board chairperson Hailemariam Dessalegn, a former Prime minister of Ethiopia.
Dessalegn, who proposed the establishment of ATA in Malawi, said there is a need for multiple agencies to work together.
Reads the statement in part: “Support can be accessed through the ATA on transforming the economy through the establishment of agro-processing areas to double production and resolve market and processing issues as was experienced in Ethiopia through the ATA.”
On his part, Chakwera said working with Agra is a great advantage that will enable the country not only to feed itself, but also to move from subsistence to commercialisation.
“So, when you talk of ATA, this is more than welcome and we could fast track that because local cooperatives and anchor farms will benefit a lot. With Agra and ATA, we can succeed,” he said.
The discussion also touched on Agra’s areas of support to the Malawi Government, including policy design, flagship development and a food system transformation action plan.
Dessalegn also took the opportunity to invite Chakwera to a summit scheduled for September 6 to 9 in Kigali, Rwanda.
The meeting came just two weeks after Dessalegn visited Zambia and held an audience with President Hakainde Hichilema on strategies for fast tracking Africa’s food system transformation.
Agra is a farmer-centred, African-led, partnerships-driven institution working to transform smallholder farming to a business that thrives.
In collaboration with its partners, including African governments, researchers, development partners, the private sector and civil society, Agra’s work primarily focuses on smallholder farmers who typically cultivate staple crops on two hectares or less.