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Government Pledges to Engage Youths in Agriculture.

Government Pledges to Engage Youths in Agriculture.

Government has said it is working towards seeking incentives that will help attract youths to engage themselves in agriculture to boost the country’s sustainable economic growth.

According to former Minister of Agriculture Robin Lowe, who was speaking at the official launch of this year’s National Agriculture Fair at Trade Fair Grounds in Blantyre, the government has noticed that the youth, who make up the majority of the country’s population, lack the passion to engage in agriculture on a long-term basis. He claimed that the situation is negatively affecting the country’s economic development.

Lowe disclosed that his Ministry is working towards revamping the agriculture sector, among others, through the
introduction of farm mechanization, which he said will enable farmers in the country to move from subsistence to
commercial farming.

“We are giving matching grants to farmers so that our farmers should be able to buy modern farm machinery such as tractors, and we hope youths too will be attracted by that,” said Lowe.

He also added that our elders are aging. Youths must inherit the land from their parents.

The Ministry also urged farmers to form cooperatives so as to benefit from the newly introduced farming program,
Mega Farming.

“Indeed, we have received a lot of complaints from small-holder farmers about their failure to compete with big farmers, but government is optimistic that through the formation of cooperatives, farmers will even manage
to tap into credit facilities,” explained Lowe.

In his remarks, Malawi Confederation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (MCCCI) president Lakani Katandula
expressed worry that the introduction of modern technologies is not creating job opportunities for the youths. He has therefore urged farmers in the country to set up industries to create jobs for the younger generation.

Speaking in a separate interview, National Program Coordinator for Trade Program Felix Longwe urged farmers
to form partnerships with different agriculture players so as to enhance agriculture productivity, thereby adding value to their products.

“Our farmers ought to form partnerships with other players for them to venture into lucrative farming systems, and we believe these agriculture fairs are such platforms,” said Longwe.

The three-day 18th National Agriculture Fair was held under the theme “Enhancing Productivity for Industrialization,” and over 60 companies participated.

During the exhibition, the MCCCI awarded exhibitors for their outstanding performances in different categories.
The National Smallholder Farmers Association of Malawi (Nasfam) has been named the best farmer group, Seed
Co has been awarded the best input supplier, the Ministry of Agriculture has been named the best service provider,
and Illovo Sugar has been named the best agricultural processor.