The Malawi government, along with aid from the World Bank and others, has spent the past few years creating a new and improved agricultural policy for sustainable agriculture in Malawi. The main purpose in the new agricultural policy is refocusing smallholder subsistence farming to commercial approaches and as a result, sustainable agriculture in Malawi has significantly improved.
Economic Impact of Malawi’s Agricultural Industry
Malawi’s agricultural industry affects their economy directly, as one third of their gross domestic products come from agriculture. The industry provides employment, reduces poverty, ensures food security and contributes to nutrition. With this wide-reaching presence, the country has clearly taken this development project as being one of high-priority.
Malawi is also working towards becoming a secure, mature, sustainable and technology-driven country and has numerous goals the nation hopes to achieve by the year 2020. These goals involve a variety of foci, such as droughts, economic expansion, education, health care, environmental protection and financial stability.
New Agricultural Policies
The country’s new policies have developed through the Agriculture Sector Wide Approach Support Project (ASWAp-SP). Malawi’s new policy comes with three different sub-policies that all work to strengthen the agriculture sector. These three sub-policies are:
- The National Agriculture Policy (NAP)
- The Revised National Seed Policy
- The Strategic Grain Reserve (SGR)
With such attention to detail through these more specific policies, the hope for Malawi is more than bright.
The National Agriculture Policy
The National Agriculture Policy is centered on commercialization to promote growth in the agriculture industry. The policy transitions farming communities from subsistence production to non-traditional high-value agricultural chains that will generate more money, as well as create the necessary actions to ensure that these efforts are successful.
The enforcement of this policy includes: sustainable irrigation development, mechanization of agriculture, market development and much more. The government of Malawi hopes with NAP that management of agriculture resources improves and incomes increase — results that would lower the country’s poverty rate and improve nutrition levels.
The Revised National Seed Policy
The Revised National Seed Policy is Malawi’s policy to realize the crop production and productivity goals, and the importance of the quality of the seed. The revised seed policy will provide regulation and control of all seeds, while also protect consumers and dealers to improve to a responsible seed industry.
The Strategic Grain Reserve
The Strategic Grain Reserve will protect the country from maize production deficits, as maize is the major grain for food in Malawi. The new policy will require an early release of funding to procure grain during harvesting and will have a member-committee oversee the maize in both emergency and non-emergency circumstances. The policy also addresses grain storage issues, quality control problems and recycling of the stock.
As of 2017, Malawi’s GDP growth rate is expected to increase from 2.5 percent in 2016 to 4.5 percent. Overall, the new policies installed work to incite the hope of an increase of the sustainable agriculture in Malawi. With the new policies, the agriculture sector of the country will increase — an effort that should also improve the economy, increase employment and reduce hunger and poverty.
– Chloe Turner