Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN) Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN)

President of Malawi Awarded Unite Nations Prize for Enhancing Nation's Food Security
UN News Service (New York)
28 November 2008

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The President of Malawi, Bingu wa Mutharika, has been honoured by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) for his efforts in achieving food security and in transforming the economy of his nation, among the poorest in Africa.

FAO Director-General Jacques Diouf presented President wa Mutharika with the Agricola Medal - the agency's highest award - yesterday during a ceremony in the Malawian capital, Lilongwe.

Mr. Diouf noted that in 2005, thanks in a large part to the adoption of an Agricultural Input Subsidy Programme piloted by the Government of President wa Mutharika, Malawi was able to restore national food security by increasing access to fertilizers and improved seeds by poor farmers and other vulnerable population groups.

In addition, despite sharply rising food and energy prices earlier in the year, and the negative impact of climate change, Malawi has been able to contain food prices to the extent that economic growth for this year is expected to be around 8 per cent.

Malawi was also one of the few countries to have surpassed the agreement reached among ministers at the 2003 Maputo African heads of State and government conference for a minimum budget allocation of 10 per cent for agriculture, by allocating as much as 16 per cent to the sector, said the Director-General.

Agriculture is crucial to the population of 13.2 million in Malawi, a largely rural and landlocked country in Southern Africa, where some 35 per cent of the population was undernourished in 2004. Relevant Links
  • Southern Africa
  • Food, Agriculture and Rural Issues
  • International Organizations and Africa
  • Malawi
  • Nutrition
  • Sustainable Development
Previous recipients of the Agricola Medal include Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand, former French president Jacques Chirac, Chinese President Jiang Zemin, Pope John Paul II, President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt, former Spanish prime minister José María Aznar, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and German ex-president Johannes Rau of Germany.

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