Welcome to the First Edition of NAPAS Happenings
by Dr. Flora Nankhuni
Welcome to the first edition of NAPAS Happenings, our quarterly newsletter, aimed at keeping you, our readers, up to date with the main issues facing the agriculture sector, mainly policies and the role they play in shaping the sector. NAPAS: Malawi started in November 2014 and is part of the high-level policy reform initiatives that the Government of Malawi committed to in 2013 under the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition. The Project is housed in the Planning Department of the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development (MoAIWD), where it offers technical and financial support to the Ministry. NAPAS: Malawi has undertaken several activities in fulfillment of its twin objectives of improving the agriculture investment climate and enabling increased commercialization of Malawi’s agricultural sector. In order to achieve these objectives, the Project has three technical components:
- Providing technical support for policy formulation,
- Engaging in policy communication activities to inform debate on agriculture and food security policy issues and
- Capacity strengthening.
One of the major highlights under the policy formulation component for the Project was the launch of the National Agriculture Policy (NAP) by the President of the Republic of Malawi, Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika in November 2016. In addition, the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development approved the Contract Farming Strategy in August 2016. Furthermore, under Policy Communication the NAPAS:Malawi project supported the Ministries of Agriculture and Lands to co-organize two Land Symposiums in 2016 and 2017, and to organize the Agricultural Policy and Institutional Strengthening (APIS) workshop in September 2016, among other activities. Under capacity strengthening the project organized six trainings on: Budget and Policy Analysis and Monitoring and Evaluation Training (M&E), to state (12) and non-state actors (3). The Project also organized a series of media trainings on various topical agricultural issues to over 10 media houses across the country. In total 67 journalists (25 female) have been trained through short courses organized by the Project.
Currently, the Project is supporting the Ministry in finalizing the National Fertilizer Policy, the Farmer Organization Development Strategy (FODS), and value chain studies on tea, coffee, macadamia, tomato, mango, banana, groundnuts, pigeon peas, cassava, Irish potato, sweet potato, and yam. The Project has also embarked on supporting the Ministry to review the Special Crops Act and the Agriculture general Purposes Act.