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Tamani Nkhono-MvulaThe Civil Society Agriculture Network (CISANET) has announced that the 2016 CISANET National Conference will be held on the 4th and 5th October under the theme “Agriculture for Development and Transformation Agenda in Malawi”.

The conference will take place at the Bingu International Conference Centre and it is expected that the Vice President of the Republic of Malawi, Right Honourable Dr Saulosi Chilima will be guest of honour.

CISANET has also requested a number of seasoned personnel to speak at the conference.
CISANET National Director in a statement to members and partners stated that the organisation believes that “Agriculture for Development and Transformation Agenda in Malawi” is subject of the moment as the country is undergoing a number of institutional changes in both the public and the private sector.
Currently Government is undertaking a public sector reform which among other things will institute a National Planning Commission whose role among other things will be to come up with the Malawi Growth and Development Strategy III (MGDS 3) and also take a lead in developing the next national vision.
“Our interest as CISANET is how to position agriculture in all these. How can we make agriculture to be the tool not only for food security but also for industrial and national development,” said Nkhono-Mvula.
He added that the agriculture sector will also be developing a new Agriculture Sector Wide Approach (ASWAp) and also an implementation framework for the National Agriculture Policy.
Nkhono-Mvula also noted that the recently developed National Agriculture policy is setting up very ambitious targets like increasing agriculture output of major crops like maize by 100%, increasing value of export agricultural output by 50%, increasing number of agricultural technologies by 60% among others, within the next 4 years.
“These targets are being set when agriculture in Malawi is facing numerous challenges like climate change, severe soil and environmental degradation, increasing population and dwindling land holding among others.
“As CISANET we believe that these targets are attainable, however we will need among others to have a strong institutional and coordination framework in place. This conference is therefore coming at the right time to provide space for the stakeholders to contribute to these processes,” he explained.
“Our vision as CISANET is a Malawi with a reduced number of people directly involved in agriculture production from the current 85% of the population to about 20%, to see a reduction in the agriculture’s direct contribution to the GDP from the current 40% to 15% by the year 2050.
“Our assumption is that the growth and development of agriculture would have triggered a growth in specialised industrial processing and services that will absorb the current agriculture labour force and also contribute more to the GDP thereby reducing the percentage contribution of agriculture,” he further explained.

NOTE: Only CISANET paid up members based outside Lilongwe will be provided logistical support.