The 10th Nd zotheka Eminent Speaker Series:
Thursday, January 25th, 2024 || 2:00 - 5:00 pm CAT || Bingu International Convention Centre (BICC), Lilongwe & Virtual via Zoom
Prof. Sosten Chiotha
Regional Director, LEAD Southern and Eastern Africa
Agricultural Growth and Diversification
MwAPATA Institute alongside the National Planning Commission and Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources conducted a 10th Eminent Speaker Series which was held under the theme: Enhancing Agriculture Growth and Diversification, on the 25th of January, 2024, at Bingu International Conference Centre (BICC).
Professor Sosten Chiotha, the Regional Director of Leadership for Environment and Development (LEAD) in Southern and Eastern Africa, was the keynote speaker at the event. He emphasized the importance of reviving the Mwanaalirenji concept to promote agriculture diversification, enhancing carbon markets, and providing payments for nature-based solutions as a means of catalyzing environmental protection incentives. He also discussed the need for zonation of climatic conditions, altitudes, and physiography for agriculture planning to increase productivity.
After the keynote address, five panellists representing different stakeholders in agriculture policy development and implementation discussed the challenges faced by farmers. These challenges include difficulty in accessing and investing in seed, equipment, and technology, as well as limited access to viable markets and extension services.
The panel and the larger group recommended that the government and other institutional stakeholders take steps to ensure that farmers have access to information and viable markets. They also suggested that farmers be directly engaged in these platforms to ensure that they are exposed to technology. Additionally, the panel recommended that the government and other stakeholders consider vertical integration, from research and seed multiplication to production and processing, in order to create a good policy environment.