Prof Kanyama (left) and Dr. Nakhumwa (right) signing the MoU
LILONGWE-(MaraviPost)-The country’s Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (Luanar) on Thursday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Agricultural Transformation Initiative (ATI)’s Centre for Agriculture Transformation (CAT) in Malawi to help smallholder farmers diversify their livelihoods.
The US$12 million five year MoU-project, the centre will also partner with farmers, businesses, financial institutions and local associations to help unlock new income opportunities.
The centre is expected to facilitate the development of new technologies, partnerships, income opportunities to help farmers achieving greater economic certainty in the coming years.
The first phase of the project will be based at Malawi’s Luanar from 2019 to 2024.
Addressing the news conference after signing MoU, Dr. Candida Nakhumwa, ATI Country Director the project will draw on the expertise of a consortium of partner organisations including Land O’Lakes International Development, the University Minnesota, Stellenbosch University and Malawi University of Science and Technology (MUST).
“The impressive consortium of domestic and international partners managing the CAT have years of experience developing successful programs.
“This will be a world-class hub that combines scientific research, smallholder farming and business cultivation to drives transformational agriculture development,” says Dr. Nakhumwa.
Echoing on the same, Giselles Aris, CAT’s Program Director says the centre will be hub for science, technology and innovation where entities with inclusive business models and community to experience data usage and exchange ideas.
“Domestic, regional and international agriculture markets are changing. So, using scientific, technological and agribusiness expertise and deep regional connections, CAT will help farmers and businesses build long-term resilience through diversifying agricultural production in Malawi,” says Aris.
Luanar’s Vice Chancellor Professor Kanyama Phiri assured the centre for the serious implementation of the project for its intended purposes
“Will never let this timely program to fail. This is also an opportunity for our farmers to embrace alternatives to tobacco farming which is currently shrinking,” assures Professor Kanyama-Phiri.
The Agricultural Transformation Initiative (ATI) is a core pillar of the Foundation for a Smoke-Free World, Inc., an independent, U.S. nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization whose mission is to improve global health by ending smoking in this generation. Recognizing that the Foundation’s mission entails an accelerated decline in global tobacco demand, the ATI aims to diversify tobacco-dependent economies.