By Mike Chipalasa

LILONGWE-(MaraviPost)-The Centre for Agricultural Transformation (CAT) says there is a need to involve and empower the youth with knowledge and skills for the country to meaningfully attain the Malawi 2063 Vision, particularly on increasing agricultural productivity and commercialization.

CAT Executive Director, Macleod Nkhoma, said this on Thursday in Lilongwe during a Youth Fair on Science, Technology and Innovation held at Bunda Smart Farm for the youth to appreciate the importance of balancing use and protection of the ecosystem through water quality testing and management.

Water quality testing demonstr

“As we implement the Malawi 2063 Vision, it is important for these youths to be engaged at this early stage for them to own and understand the vision. This is their vision because they are the ones who will live and attain it, most of us will not be there in 2063 but the youth will,” said Nkhoma.

“We decided to engage them on the need for ecosystem management so that they understand the importance of preserving the environment as it relates to agricultural productivity in the country,” he said.

Held under the theme “engaging the youth in balancing ecosystem use and protection,” the Youth Fair targeted students from 11 primary and secondary schools, including students from Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (LUANAR).

During the Fair, activities included river health biomonitoring training using a novel approach called SASS,  drone technology demonstration, soil sensors demonstration, physico-chemical water quality monitoring using the multiprobe water quality meter, fabrication of water filters using locally available resources, using litmus paper to determine soil and water acidity, demonstration of various gadgets and tools used in water and soil monitoring, among others.

Immaculate Kalua, a Form Four student at Mitundu Secondary School said the fair had given her knowledge on ecosystem management and encouraged her to work hard in school.

“I have learnt a lot here such as how to use water quality testing tools, the importance of drone technology and how to take care of our environment. This knowledge will help me in my studies as well as in future,” said Immaculate.

A teacher at Ngowe Community Day Secondary School, Innocent Mbvundula, applauded the CAT for organizing the youth fair which would help them in their studies and fully appreciate the importance of science in everyday life.

“Our students have seen for themselves the various technologies and tools that are used for testing water quality and how they can take care of the environment. This fair complements the students’ classroom knowledge with what is happening on the ground and I’m sure it will leave a lasting impression on them and help them improve their performance in class,” said Mbvundula.

At the end of the event, students participated in a water quality testing competition in which three top performing schools received various prizes and water testing tools to use in their schools.

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