Malawi is an agro-based country, which mostly depends on agriculture to strengthen its economic Muscle, therefore agriculture will remain one of the key priorities in the country’s development agenda, and as such it needs various innovations for the success of the sector.
An African woman in Agricultural Research and Development (AWARD) is one of the organizations bringing in some innovations to propel agriculture by building the capacity of women through mentorship programmes.
Vice Chairperson for Award Malawi Chapter, Sibusisiwe Caroline Limuwa has said it is their wish to empower women and youth to build their voice and capacity in agriculture for agriculture transformation and community development.
Limuwa made the remarks during the official launch of Malawi African Women in Agriculture Research and Development (MAWADI) Chapter held on Wednesday at Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (LUANAR), Bunda Campus.
She said the Malawi Chapter will mainly focus on encouraging different institutions to play significant roles in lobbying women participation in agricultural activities and also they will encourage secondary school girls to take scientific subjects so that they can positively contribute towards the goals of the initiative.
“We would like to work with secondary schools and encourage girls to take scientific subjects that will help them acquire various skills in agriculture. Agriculture field in the country has few women in leadership Positions, therefore we want to engage girls at a tender age and let them grow with potential to lead in various agriculture portfolio’s,”she said.
Representative of the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water development, Dr Yanira Mtupanyama said AWARD Initiative is viable and that it has benefited more Malawians.
Mtupanyama also said it was worth noting that the initiative promote more inclusive and gender responsive agricultural research and development that responds to different priorities both women and men across the agricultural value chain.
Kenya Based African women in Agricultural Research and development (AWARD) Deputy Director of Programs Michele Mbo’tchouawou also urged Malawian women to take ownership of the initiatives if the agriculture sector is to advance effectively.
The Malawi Africa women in Agricultural Research and Development (MAWARD) is a brain child of African women in Agriculture and Research Development (AWARD) a career development program based in Kenya; which through tailored fellowships, equips top women agricultural scientists across sub-Saharan Africa to accelerate gains by strenghthening their research and leadership skills.