By Mtisunge Kagomo
LILONGWE-(MaraviPost)-With support from the European Union,Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) on Tuesday donated 220 motorbikes to the Government of Malawi through Ministry of Agriculture,Irrigation and Water development as one way of strengthening the nutrition sensitive agriculture and productivity within the AFIKEPO and KULIMA programme.
Speaking during the hand over ceremony,Minister of Agriculture,Irrigation and Water development Joseph Mwanamvekha commended FAO for the donation and said that the motorbikes will help extension workers reach out more farmers.
“As a ministry,We have a number of challenges ,one of which is mobility.Extension workers find it difficult to visit farmers in the rural areas they travel long distance using push bikes and sometimes they walk.With the coming of these motorbikes,it will be easier for them to visit community outreach”He said
Mwanamvekha ensured malawians that the government will put different measures in making sure that the motorbikes are being used for its intended purpose
EU Ambassador to Malawi Sandra Peasan voiced that it is the duty of Government to make the best use of the motorbikes .
“I am proud to deliver the bikes to the Malawi government on behalf of EU.I believe people will be using them appropriately and with conscious ” Paesan said
She encouraged the Ministry to include female extension when sharing the bikes to promote gender equality.
James Okoth ,FAO Representative ad interim said that FAO recognize the Government of Malawi’s steadfast commitment to develop the agriculture sector and address attendant challenges affecting food and nutrition
“Government tries so hard to develop the agriculture villages. The donation will help extension workers to be more frequent in the villages and this means more extension worker-farmer contact.This is important because it will improve productivity and skills,”narrated Okoth
The 220 Motorbikes are the first batch of the 450 Motorbikes to be procured and handed over to the Government of Malawi to ease mobility of extension workers supporting community outreach at the grass level.