Norwegian minister expresses importance of assisting small-scale farmers
Norway's Minister of International Development has stated that the country's government and nongovernmental organizations must support small-scale farmers if the country is to develop.
MALAWI: Anne Breathe Tvinnereim, Norway's Minister of International Development, has stated that the country's government and nongovernmental organizations must support small-scale farmers if the country is to develop.
The Minister made the remarks on Tuesday while visiting small-scale farmers at Mndolera Extension Planning Area (EPA) in Dowa district's Traditional Authority (T/A) Dzoole.
Tvinnereim stated that small-scale farmers play an important role in transforming the country's economy and that they must be supported in order for the country to develop and end poverty.
“Small scale farmers play a big role in improving country’s economy and I believe that small scale farmers in Malawi are the backbone of the economy and this is where we need to start to make progress and development to extinguish poverty.
She also expressed her admiration for the work that small-scale farmers are doing in the country, particularly at Mndolera EPA, where small-scale farmers are practicing modern agriculture.
As a result, she stated that the Norwegian government is committed to assisting Malawi in the agricultural sector.
“Supporting Malawi’s agricultural sector is one of the key priorities of Norwegian Government and as the Government of Norway we have been supporting Malawi for many years in the agricultural sector and we are there for a long call and we will be a continuous partner,” she said.
The Norwegian Government, in collaboration with the Development Fund of Norway, the Norwegian University of Life Science, and local partners, is implementing a program called 'Transform' in the country.
The program aims to provide small-scale farmers with modern agricultural techniques; it is planned to be implemented in five districts across the country, namely Dowa, Rumphi, Mzimba, Kasungu, and Mchinji.
Chimwemwe Davison, one of the small-scale farmers from Mndolera EPA in Dowa district, stated in her remarks that the farming she is doing with her family under the Transform program has transformed her family's living standards.
“In the Previous years before the coming of the Transform program we were experiencing poor harvest, but now with the farming techniques which we have learnt under Transform programme things have changed and we are now harvesting more crops.
“Currently through farming, we have managed to buy a solar panel which we use to generate electricity for our house, we have also managed to buy goats, sofa set and a motorcycle,” Davison said.
Among other activities, the Norwegian Minister inspected some farm products produced by the small-scale farmers at Mndolera EPA during her visit to the EPA.