The MwAPATA Institute is an independent agricultural policy think tank in Malawi. The Institute is engaging the Government of Malawi, private sector, and civil society stakeholders in a program of applied policy analysis, policy outreach, capacity building, and policy coordination.
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7th Nd zotheka Eminent Speaker Series
Thursday, December 2nd, 2021 || 5:00 - 7:00 pm CAT || Sunbird Capital, Lilongwe & Virtual via Zoom
Surmounting Soil Health Challenges: Practical Solutions for Enhancing Agricultural Productivity in line with MW2063 Aspirations
Prof. Pedro Sanchez
Research Professor of Tropical Soils, Soil and Water Sciences Department, University of Florida
Dr. Patson Nalivata
Head of Department, Crop & Soil Sciences, Lilongwe University of Agriculture & Natural Resources (LUANAR)
The Seventh Eminent Speaker Series event took place on Thursday, 2nd December 2021. Dr. Thomas Munthali, the Director General of the National Planning Commission (NPC) welcomed all the stakeholders both online and physical to this important discussion. He stated the MW2063 agenda cannot be achieved if soil health is not addressed.
The Eminent Speaker and World Food Prize Laureate, Prof. Pedro A. Sanchez argued "Malawian soils are in great need to restore soil health." He said Malawi soils are naturally "good" soils, but they are sick. As such, there is a need to adopt a more comprehensive soil health program and not just fertilizer. Prof. Sanchez proposed solutions to improve Malawian soils, which included adding mineral fertilizer correctly and integrating with organics as well as planting on time using the best hybrid varieties and practicing good agronomy, spacing, and contours, among many other proposed solutions.
Dr. Patson Nalivata, the Discussant, agreed soil health is vital to attainment of MW2063, hence the need to enhance agricultural production interventions, promoting and adopting climate smart agricultural technologies, and sustainable land and environmental management. The discussion had input from three experts who shared their views during a panel discussion. Several institutions showcased innovations to help farmers improve soil health and productivity, including the Department of Conversation and Land Resources, the Farm Services Unit of Farmers World, Africa RISING and LUANAR.
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MBC Report aired on Sunday 5th December 2021 during 6pm, 7pm and 8pm bulletin. Report developed and read by Mayeso Chikhadzula
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Prof. Sanchez Holds a Public Lecture at the Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (LUANAR)
Wednesday, 1st December 2021
Prof. Sanchez giving his public lecture at LUANAR
On Wednesday 1st December 2021, Prof. Pedro Sanchez, a Research Professor of Tropical Soils and Core Faculty Member at the Food Systems Institute, University of Florida, conducted a public lecture at the Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (LUANAR). He spoke on soil health and alternatives to subsidies to a group of students and lecturers from the University.
Prof. Sanchez repeatedly emphasized that microbial biomass is a good alternative to subsidies. He advised Ministry of Agriculture and other key policy makers to do more in promoting economic growth of the country by enhancing agriculture production.
Joining the team was Prof. Cheryl Palm (Food Systems Institute, UF), Mr. William Chadza (MwAPATA's Executive Director), Prof. Richard Mkandawire (MwAPATA's Board of Directors Chairman), Dr. Solomon Mkumbwa (Project Coordinator for PolSAT, the Policy Support for Agriculture Transformation Project), Dr. Tony Milanzi (Assistant Regional Director for AAP, the Africa Alliance for Partnerships).
Prof. Sanchez came to Malawi to be the Eminent Speaker at the 7th Eminent Speakers Series which took place under the theme "Surmounting Soil Health Challenge: Practical Solutions for Enhancing Agricultural Productivity in line with Mw2063" which is co-organized by the MwAPATA Institute, National Planning Commission (NPC) and LUANAR.
MwAPATA Conducts a Working Session with Members of Parliament
Wednesday, 1st December 2021
The MwAPATA Institute is in the process of building a coalition of strategic local public and private partners in Malawi to generate consensus on needed policy actions and driving implementation. Based on this, MwAPATA hosted a meeting with the leadership of three Parliamentary Committees on Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Trade and their committee clerks to a working session.
MwAPATA had previously met with the three committees in March 2021, and agreed on formalizing the working relationship between the Institute and the Parliamentary committees. MwAPATA was encouraged to support the parliamentary committees with empirical evidence in order to elevate the quality of parliamentary debates and enable informed policy oversight.
Wednesday's meeting aimed at reviewing the draft framework of the Memorandum of Understanding which will later be finalized by working hand in hand with Clerks from each of the committees.