President Peter Mutharika on Tuesday, May 5, 2015 opened the 4th Meeting in the 45th Session of Parliament and the 2015/16 Budget Meeting. His National Address is titled FULFILLING OUR PROMISES.
Government policies aiming to transform the agriculture sector will only have greater success in poverty reduction if they are developed with the participation of smallholder farmers and their representative organisations.
The observation is carried in a report released by the Civil Society Agriculture Network (CISANET), and co-published by Concern Universal and the Centre for Environmental Policy and Advocacy (CEPA) and Christian Aid focusing mainly on the interventions following the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition Initiative launched in 2012.
Soya production in Malawi is dominated by smallholder farmers with limited access to market information and who are also faced with lack of access to improved varieties. The local market is highly fragmented and largely disorganised. Despite the availability of ready market in India, the competitiveness of Malawi exporters’ is being undermined by high freight costs and low soya grain quality. Policies to improve market institutional innovations through the use of farmer organization, commodity exchange, provision of market information, and farmer capacity building have the potential of improving the competitiveness of the producers.
Malawi is one of the major pigeon pea producing countries in Africa. Its grain is of high nutritional value with high protein content making it very valuable for improving food security and nutrition for many poor families who cannot afford dairy and meat-based diets.
Pigeon Peas can be a breakthrough for Malawi to boost its foreign exchange earnings if the country explores global market opportunities, it has been noted.
Out of the total production of Pigeon Peas in Africa, Malawi produces the largest quantity with over 200,000 metric tons per year followed by Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania.