Malawi is the seventh country in Africa that has made great progress in accelerating machinery use and agricultural growth rates.
The other countries are Ethiopia, Mali, Morocco, Rwanda, Tanzania and Zambia.
Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Dr. Emmanuel Fabiano disclosed this on Tuesday when he opened Malabo Montpellier Forum in Lilongwe, Malawi.
“And the reasons for this success are three-fold,” said Fabiano citing strong political commitment at the highest level of government to improve the uptake of mechanization in agriculture as one of the reasons.
“This is reflected, for example, in our National Agriculture Investment Plan, which contains very specific targets for mechanization and the use of farm tools, machinery and technologies,” said Fabiano.
He said Malawi has also established the farm mechanization programmes that are run by the Crops Develop Department under the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development to deliver the ambitious programme.
Fabiano said Malawi has also successfully created opportunities for private sector engagement citing CAMCO Equipment Limited which has been operating in Malawi since 2000. The company supplies agricultural machinery and tools for entire agricultural value chains including walking tractors, disc ploughs, harrows, planters and harvesters among others.
Fabiano said for African countries to close the gap with other regions of the world in the area of agricultural mechanisation there is need to design mechanisation pathways that are socially and politically sustainable.
He also said there is need to prioritize mechanisation in every segment of the agriculture value chain from production, through to post harvest handling and processing.
He added: ” There is need to increase investments in the development of supportive infrastructure as well as professional and vocational training at scale and for all value segments.”
Malawi co-chaired the inaugural meeting of the Malabo Montpellier Forum in December 2017 in Cotonou, Benin.
The Forum meets twice a year and it emphasizes evidence based exchange, dialogue and mutual learning at the highest levels.