National Smallholder Farmers Association of Malawi (NASFAM) says climate smart agriculture could become Malawi’s key avenue to poverty reduction and food security only if new climate related science and technology are adopted by small farmers in the sector.
Speaking during the 20th NASFAM Annual General Assembly Meeting titled: ‘Climate Smart Agriculture-smallholder farmers opportunities and constraints in scaling up’ on Thursday in Lilongwe, Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development George Chaponda said advances in climate change science and technology that have taken place worldwide offer Malawi more opportunities and new better tools needed to promote its agriculture productivity.
He therefore, recommended NASFAM for opting to embrace climate smart agriculture as a boarder strategic way of dealing with climate change challenges in Malawi.
Chaponda then assured Malawians to continue engaging farmers in bid to fighting food insecurity, hunger malnutrition and at the same time to ending poverty in the country.
Chief Executive Officer for NASFAM Dyborn Chibonga disclosed that the theme was deliberately selected in light of the critical impact of climate change affecting agriculture, and smallholder farmers in particular.
According to Chibonga the meeting is expected to brainstorm viable solutions, technologies in Malawi, which will look substantively at how innovation systems can be developed to ensure agriculture transformation.
He said: “Our prosperity as a country will depend on agriculture for many years to come. This, therefore, calls for significant efforts to modernize our agriculture through the application of climate smart agriculture technologies”,
Chibonga further emphasized that Malawi can create new or improve existing institutional arrangements that can help the uptake of the existing technologies to increase productivity despite climate change challenges.
Agricultural analyst Tamani Khono Mvula believes that the first step towards achieving the dream of having an agricultural sector that is climate smart and technologically driven is to have strong informed knowledgeable farmers who can form strong farm clubs beside also strong political will- a willing and inspiring political leadership that provides space for new ideas and space for technocrats to execute policies.
Currently, NASFAM among other initiatives is on project called ‘Dziko Lathu Nthaka Yathu Campaign envisages policy changes that are responsive to climate change, and especially those that have direct impact on agriculture and on smallholder farmers in particular.