By Chilungamo Missi
Blantyre, Mana: Minister of Agriculture, Robin Lowe has urged youth in the country to take part in agriculture as a milestone towards achieving agricultural commercialization.
He made the remarks on Wednesday when he presided over the 18th Agricultural Fair at Trade fair grounds in Blantyre under the theme ‘Enhanced Agricultural Productivity for Industrialization’.
“Going through pavilions you will agree with me that youth involvement is very low. Next time we should be able to have many youths because there are great opportunities in agriculture for them.
“Everything in terms of financing, extension, and land is available, but the mentality which we have is that farming is for peasant farmers, so we want to change the narrative, youths should join us and as government we are ready to support them,” Lowe noted.
He added that they are transforming agriculture to attract the youth through for instance, the Agricultural Commercialization project which was a flagship for transforming smallholder agriculture from subsistence to commercial.
President for Malawi Confederation of Chambers and Commerce, Lekani Katandula said the country need to embrace value addition to ensure great returns for farmers.
He said that, “Let us not just focus on growing crops and raising animals, let us look at agro processing that can take place afterwards to maximize the value that we make for our farmers and the nation”.
One of the participants, Transforming Agriculture through Diversification and Entrepreneurship (TRADE) Programme, National Programme Coordinator, Felix Lombe said their programme aims to see farmers developing.
“Today’s theme is important, as TRADE, we believe that for commercialization to take place there has to be enhanced productivity because once there is enhanced productivity, we can do value addition and venture into some small or large scale processing which in turn results into industrialization,” he said.
Lombe added that the fair will benefit their farmers in the way that it was going to create sustainable partnerships which means they would find markets and agreements from other relevant stakeholders.