Government says Malawi has potential for growth in the agricultural sector as it is endowed with both human and natural resources for improved agricultural practices and socio-economic development.
Minister of Agriculture Hon. Lobin Lowe, MP said this when he visited Chikwawa and Nsanje districts on a familiarisation tour to appreciate some of the efforts being done by the ministry aimed at improving food security and economic growth in Malawi.
Lowe who was accompanied by Deputy Minister in the Ministry, Hon. Agness Nkusa Nkhoma, MP, and some ministry officials explained that the Lower Shire districts have potential for increased irrigation farming as well as fish and livestock production which may feed the whole southern region.
“This area has potential for improved irrigation farming, fish farming and livestock production, and as government all we need to do is to support the farmers with inputs such as fertilisers through the Affordable Inputs Programme and also look into ways on how we can empower the livestock farmers and the Fisheries sector. There is also need for good extension services and enhanced quality agricultural practices,” said Lowe.
The Minister further said that its high time that Malawi stopped importing fish as the country has potential of raising different species of fish in ponds there.
During the familiarisation tour, the two ministers visited Nkhate, Chilengo and Tiyanjane Irrigation schemes, Kasinthula Fish Farm and Khama Cattle Ranch.
During a 31 year rule of Dr. Kamuzu Banda under the same Malawi Congress Party (MCP), Malawi had a lot of irrigation schemes that helped many farmers undertaking irrigation farming but these schemes were completely abandoned, something that led to food insecurity among many farmers across the country.