European Union (EU) has urged Malawi to carefully use over 250 motorcycles the union, alongside Unicef and Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), donated to the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development yesterday.
The motorcycles are meant for extension workers in the Afikepo and Kulima projects which seek to improve agriculture productivity and food and nutrition security in the country.
In an interview on the sidelines of the handover of the motorcycles in Lilongwe yesterday, EU resident representative Sandra Paesen said Malawi needs to treat the donation with seriousness.
She said: “The funds used to procure these motorbikes have been mobilised through taxes from the people in Europe and if Malawi looks at this from that perspective, I am sure that these motor bikes will be used for the intended purpose and help achieve the intended goals.”
In his remarks Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development Joseph Mwanamvekha said the motorcycles will be used by frontline staff such as extension service workers who reach out to farmers in rural areas.
He said: “Currently, one agriculture extension service worker serves over 2 400 farmers instead of the recommended 700. The blown out ratio, coupled with lack of mobility, poses a huge challenge to the delivery of extension services in the country. This donation therefore bridges that gap and will help the extension workers reach out to as many farmers as possible with the extension services.”