Written by Enock Balakasi
The German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development says it is pleased to note that there is some promising commitment by African leaders to promote mechanisation in agriculture for improved farm production to feed millions of their starving and malnourished people.
Head of the ministry’s Directorate of Food, Rural Developments and Natural Resources Dr Stefan Schmitz spoke at the end of the second Malabo Montpellier Forum held in Lilongwe on Tuesday.
At the opening of the forum earlier on Tuesday, other main speakers called upon African countries to invest in farm machinery for improved agricultural production.
Schmitz said African leaders and the global community cannot ignore this call.
“It is promising to see what is happening at the continent as so many African leaders are now aware if these challenges which has become continental issues, ” says Schmitiz.
The Malabo Montpellier Forum provides a platform for decision makers at the highest level of government to review the evidence on progress that is being achieved on the ground towards meeting key agriculture and food security goals and exchange on lessons and
strategies to foster positive change across all African countries.
Malawi Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Minister Dr Emmanuel Fabiano co-chaired the second meeting in Lilongwe together with Benin Minister of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries Cossi Gaston Dossouhou.
A report titled: “Mechanized–Transforming Africa’s Agriculture Value Chains” was launched at the forum.
Fabiano acknowledged the call for investment in farm machinery, promising that Malawi will increase her pace for agriculture mechanisation to boost food production as expected by the Ministry.
In her remarks, African Union Commissioner for Rural Development Josefa Leonel Sacko urged African countries to increase budgetary allocation towards procurement of farm machinery, saying this will demonstrate high level commitment.
The inaugural meeting of the Malabo Montpellier Forum was held in Benin in December 2017 and the forum’s panel of 17 African and European experts appointed Malawi’s Vice President Saulos Chilima as Co-chair of the meeting together with Benin’s Minister of State for Planning and Development Abdoulaye Bio Tchane.
Vice president Saulos Chilima was also expected to co-chair Tuesday’s meeting in Lilongwe but President Peter Mutharika replaced him with Fabiano in apparent growing enemity and mistrust between the two.
During the Forum participants will discuss the policy, institutional and programmatic factors which have led to remarkable progress in several African countries and share lessons that can be learnt across borders.
During the Malabo Montpellier Forum
The Malabo Montpellier Forum provides a platform for informed dialogue and exchange among African policy makers at the highest level on agriculture, nutrition and food security.
Meetings of the Forum are guided by technical reports prepared by the experts gathered under the Malabo Montpellier Panel, a group of leading African and European experts from the fields of agriculture, ecology, nutrition, public policy and global development.
The Forum in July 2018 will focus on mechanization along the agriculture value chain and is supported by a technical report by the Malabo Montpellier Panel analyzing African countries, which have achieved significant agricultural growth through systematic mechanization efforts.
The Forum is attended by representatives at the ministerial level from several African countries, senior executives of leading global development agencies and members of the Malabo Montpellier Panel. Participants will exchange on the policy, institutional and programmatic factors which have led to remarkable progress in several African countries.
Mechanization if done in the right way, will be a major pillar of the future successful growth and transformation of Africa’s agriculture sector.The report will provide critical insights on how to achieve this.