The meeting was hosted jointly by Soils Food and Health Communities (SFHC) and University of Malawi.
The MAP members, project partners and other relevant stakeholders met in Lilongwe on the 16th of February to review the development of appropriate investment plans towards improving the maize/millet-legume value chain and the policy recommendations necessary for ensuring food and nutrition security in Malawi.
In 2019, the project identified significant barriers that hinder the maize/and millet-legume value chain improvements and investment options. Possible investments and opportunities towards improvement with the limited investments options available were discussed. Some of the barriers identified were: lack of market access, low maize prices, access to credit, small size holdings and gender inequality.
Some key recommendations to key barriers from the meeting were that seeds and fertilizer could be made more accessible to farmers, provision of trade and transport facilities within the country to mobilize maize produce to food-insecure regions. In addition, improvement of storage and processing infrastructure in farming communities, building the capacities of farmers and improved irrigation facilities
Harmonized laws between the Ministry of Trade (where maize is seen as a commodity), and the Ministry of Agriculture (where maize is meant to ensure food security) were policy solutions that were examined.
The MAP members at the meeting were representatives from National Smallholders Farmers Association (NASFAM), Bioversity International, Dedza District Agricultural Development Officer, Mzimba District Agricultural Development Officer, Senior Chief Kachere, Local Authority Dedza, Extension Coordinator, Lobi, Dedza and an Extension Officer, Lobi.
They were met by InnovAfrica members from the National Institute of Bioeconomic Research (NIBIO), Norway, Tuscia University (TU), Italy, Wangeningen University and Research (WUR), Netherlands, Norweigian University of Life Sciences (NMBU), University of Malawi (UoM), Soils Food and Health Communities (SFHC).