Blantyre district council has affirmed its commitment to support crop value addition efforts and link farmers to viable markets.
The council’s chairperson, Jeremiah Jumbe, made the remarks on Wednesday during the opening of the First Blantyre Agriculture Fair held at Lunzu Community Centre Ground under the theme Value-addition and market access, key to agro-based industrialisation and economic growth in the district.
With effects of climate change choking the agriculture sector, Jumbe said farmers need to embrace new farming technologies that increase yields to achieve food security and have surplus for commercialisation.
“This is the platform for farmers to appreciate benefits of crop value addition. We want to link them to agriculture stakeholders in marketing and extension services. They will also access certified seeds, among other farm inputs, from agro dealers for the forth coming growing season,” said Jumbe.
He said they will strive to nurture the market-led farming concept in farmers to empower communities economically.
In an interview, director of planning and development for the district, Francis Matewere, said the event complements the council’s development plan to promote agriculture skills.
One of the farmers under Mwaiwadza Legume Producers and Marketing Cooperative from Mdeka, Edith Makawa, commended the council for the event, saying the knowledge gained will be vital for food security.
Some of the major agriculture stakeholders at the fair included International Potato Centre (CIP), One Acre Fund, Save the Children, Agriculture Commodity Exchange (ACE), Ziweto Enterprises, Afriasian and Waste Advisors.