TRANSFORM Programme geared to bring change

8 Jul, 2020

Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (LUANAR) is one of the participating implementing partners of the four-year Sustainable Food Systems for Rural Resilience and Transformation (TRANSFORM) Programme funded by the Norwegian Government.

The overall objective of the programme is to strengthen local food systems in selected Extension Planning Areas (EPAs) of five districts and to demonstrate a sustainable improvement of food and nutrition security, resilience to climate change and income among agriculture-dependent rural households.

According to the Norwegian Embassy facebook page, the outcomes under the TRANSFORM Programme are interlinked to ensure that interventions cover demand-driven research and innovation, production, processing and value addition, marketing, and consumption of the products while ensuring that the policy and regulatory environment is conducive for smallholder farmers.

In an interview with our reporter, LUANAR’s Programmes Coordinator, Dr Andy Safalaoh, said LUANAR is among the key implementing partners of the TRANSFORM Programme as an institution that generates technologies and innovations that require dissemination and outreach related activities to intended beneficiaries.

“The target districts will therefore act as target areas for research and outreach activities carried out by LUANAR.

In addition, LUANAR is also expected to provide capacity building support as it relates to transforming the agri-food system sector in Malawi with respect to capacity building, research and outreach activities,” he said.

He further said the new programme is different from the just ended CABMACC programme which was also supported by the Norwegian Government.

“While CABMACC was led by LUANAR, the TRANSFORM Programme is led by a TRANSFORM Consortium consisting of Norwegian Church Aid – as lead agency; Norwegian Development Fund and Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU),” said Dr Safalaoh.

He added that most of the activities will be implemented through sub grants to different implementation partners including African Institute for Corporate Citizenship (AICC), Trustees of Agricultural Promotion Program (TAPP) and Total Land Care (TLC) among others saying NMBU will work closely with LUANAR in implementation of programmatic activities.

The initial funding is for one-year Inception Phase to the tune NOK70 million (about 5510 million Malawi Kwacha) and was signed on July 16, 2020.

Similar level of funding is expected for the three more years.

The programme will be implemented in selected Extension Planning Areas (EPAs) in Mchinji, Dowa, Kasungu, Mzimba and Rumphi districts and it is expected that 50% of the beneficiaries will be women.