President Joyce Banda

By President Joyce Banda


All of us have acknowledged that Africa has not done well in terms of hunger and poverty reduction as compared to other continents . This is partly due to agriculture not being given much attention as there has been little investments in agriculture, agricultural production has not been regarded as a business in serious terms and sometimes people have looked at agriculture as an occupation for the poor.

At this particular moment, Africa has the potential to reduce poverty and hunger through agricultural production as we have 60% of the underutilized land in this world and the fact that G8 Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition is in support of African's home grown strategies to address hunger and poverty.

This is unlike in the past 50 years where it was left to outsiders to define what strategies would work best for Africa which made Africa to be a passive recipient of externally made policies and programs to reduce hunger and poverty.

In Malawi, my government has implemented policies to eradicate poverty at household and national level . Our government's strategy is to modernise and industrialise agricultural production by moving away from subsistence farming to encourage farmers in managing farms as a business . My government aims to continue supporting farmers through guaranteed pricing of produce, secure markets, contract farming and mobilisation of farmer's clubs to help in sharing knowledge, experience and resources to boost commercial farming.

In order to increase production of staple food as part of food security, my government is continuing with programs to expand irrigation systems to encourage twice a year crop growing instead of just relying on rains .

In addition, as part of the Presidential Initiative on Hunger and Poverty Reduction, my government has continued to implement the One Cow Per Family project to boost livestock production and generate wealth for our citizens.

Africa has the potential to be the world's best economy if we work together and promote transparency, accountability, women empowerment and fighting corruption as we implement policies and strategies to promote wealth through agricultural production .

May God bless you all!

And May God bless Africa!

Dr Joyce Banda
Republic of Malawi