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

FANRPAN Convenes a Youth Policy Dialogue in Malawi
2 May 2013

The Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN) and with its Country Node, the Civil Society Agriculture Network (CISANET) convened a National Agricultural Youth Policy Dialogue on the 24th of April, 2013 at Crossroads Hotel in Lilongwe, Malawi. The objectives of the dialogue were to disseminate the findings of the study aimed at identifying spaces and opportunities for developing national “youth and agriculture policies” within agricultural policies. The dialogue was also meant to validate the findings of the study on the participation of the youth in agriculture and to make appropriate policy recommendations on how the youth can be supported and incentivized to be actively involved in agricultural and agriculture related activities.

The dialogue was attended by over 80 participants representing youth organisations, ministry of agriculture, private sector companies, agriculture youth associations, farmers and students from the Natural Resources College of the University of Malawi. The meeting was officially opened by Hon Ulamu Chimpondwa, Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Food Security who emphasized that the youth of today are a generation that is techno savvy and are in keeping with the ever evolving technologies and that if our agriculture remains to be pre-historic type, no wonder they will ask themselves, what’s in it for us in this seemingly dull sector.

The meeting was also attended by Officer, Madam Freda Kayuni, Deputy Director, and Department of Agricultural Extension Services representing the Principal Secretary of Agriculture, a representative of the Ministry of Youth, and representatives from the donor community such as USAID. Ms Sithembile Mwamakamba, FANRPAN Project Manager gave an overview of FANRPAN’s work and the background to the country case study exercise.

Mr Taziona Mchira Programme Manager at Farmers Forum for Trade and Social Justice (FAFOTRAJ) shared the findings of the Malawi Country Case Study Report with the participants. This was followed by discussion session where young people went into discussions to come up with solutions of making agriculture attractive to their fellow youth and also identifying opportunities for taking up agriculture as a business.

In terms of commitments and way forward – the Chief Youth Officer has asked CISANET to input into the National Youth Policy which is currently under review, the committee that is reviewing the policy has asked that extracts of the report be used to beef up sections on agriculture in the new policy which should be finalised before September. A policy brief will be produced and submitted to the Minister of Agriculture.

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