In May 2009, Farming First (farmingfirst.org) interviewed Mr. Idrissa Mwale, Principal Economist at the Ministry of Agriculture in Malawi. Mr. Mwale has coordinated the country’s farm subsidy programme, which targets the most needy farming households with subsidised seed and fertilizer. The programme has produced record harvests over the past four years, which have created an export market for Malawi’s farmers. Mr. Mwale discusses the next steps for the programme and how other African governments are learning from the agricultural programme as a driver of rural development.
Watch the video:
Mr Mwale was also interviewed by BBC’s World Business News.
Listen to the BBC interview audio file here:[audio:bbcwbnewsidrissamwale.mp3]
Mr. Mwale also presented a speech on the successes of the programme at the UN Commission for Sustainable Development on 14 May 2009. In his speech, he discusses why and how agriculture should be put back at the center of the development agenda. He also notes how the Farming First principles align well with the programme Malawi has been following to date:
…this achievement came about because the Government of Malawi made a choice to prioritize the agricultural sector. This allowed the Government and various cooperating partners to increase investments in inputs provision, extension service delivery and agricultural research. This notwithstanding, the Government still believes that more investments in agricultural research, local based capacity building, irrigation development and marketing are necessary to spur increased and sustain production in the medium to long term. This is consistent with the Farming First principles of the partners hosting us tonight.
For the full text: