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Re: Malawi

Romina Cavatassi FAO, Italy
15.04.2014
Romina Cavatassi

It has been very interesting to read all the inputs and comments received so far, in addition to the outputs of the first scenario building workshop.

Common issues raised are importance of education and more effective and transparent intuitional and implementation mechanisms. Depletion of natural resources as well as the impact of climate change on agriculture, the main sector of the country’s economy, have also been raised by many contributors.

Many are also concerned about population growth as well as of the impact of HIV/AIDS and the consequent need to support the youth and the many female headed households left behind. Investing in education, including climate smart agriculture related education, would thus need to take these aspects into account and should certainly be included in the investment proposal.

One interesting question I have is more related to issues raised on the importance of market and effective value chain for agriculture. Many contributions have indeed raised that agriculture in Malawi needs to be more market oriented agricultural and to diversify into different crops. On that specific issue Prof. Moya explicitly suggested investing in preserving or promoting sorghum production and goat herds. It would be interesting to hear some more opinions with regard to what could be done, in practice, to have a more effective agricultural system and a diversified system more market oriented but also more resilient to climate change.

I would also be very interested to hear more about what are the first steps needed to get a change process in motion? What are the practical steps suggested to have more effective system and solutions? Investing in education, including of extension agents is a clear requirement, but what are the most effective ways of involving rural poor, women and young people as pointed out by most of the contributors?