Spotlight on strategies to support farmers in Malawi
At the recent launch of the new strategy for the National Agriculture Extension and Advisory Services in Lilongwe, Malawi, Access Agriculture (www.accessagriculture.org/) was invited to participate in the exhibition titled “Agriculture Extension and Advisory Services within reach: Key to Improved Agricultural Productivity and Nutrition.”
The event, held on 8 December 2020, was chaired by the Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development, Hon. Lobin C. Lowe, and attended by several stakeholders involved in the agricultural sector. The Agriculture Sector Food and Nutrition Strategy and the Farmers Organisation and Development Strategy were also launched during the event.
Describing the launch as probably the most historic event in the delivery of agriculture extension and advisory services in Malawi which would help redefine the direction of agriculture development in the country, the Minister said that these services are priorities for the government, as they play a vital role in the lives of many Malawians for both food and nutrition security.
Blessings Flao, Access Agriculture Coordinator for Malawi and Southern Africa, shared some of Access Agriculture’s core work with the Minister and other stakeholders when they visited the Access Agriculture exhibition stand. Access Agriculture is a non-profit global service provider that supports farmer learning in the Global South through quality videos in international and local languages.
Blessings briefly presented Access Agriculture’s video platform that hosts over 200 agriculture training videos in more than 80 languages, the organisation’s novel approach in using portable smart projectors to reach farmers in remote areas, and its “Entrepreneurs for Rural Access” (ERA) model. Vinjeru Mlenga, Access Agriculture ERA Coach for Malawi and Southern Africa, and Osman Majid, one of Access Agriculture ERAs, were also present.
“It is exciting to see this library of videos. In our line of work, these can go a long way to help farmers see what other farmers are doing elsewhere, which they can adopt,” observed one of the officials from the Fisheries Department after her visit to the Access Agriculture booth.
Other organizations that displayed their work during the launch included many of the Access Agriculture partners, such as Farm Radio Trust (FRT), National Smallholder Farmers’ Association of Malawi (NASFAM), Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (LUANAR) and Total Land Care.