2 Jun, 2018

Share this Article

Participants pose for a group photo soon after the o
Government has said that the country needs policies and regulatory frameworks that can unlock private sector investments in the fertilizer value chain.

This was said by the Chief Director of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development Dr. Yanira Ntupanyama during a National Symposium on Fertilizer at Lilongwe Hotel on 29th May 2018 under a theme “The role of Policies and Regulations in Stimulating Private Sector Investment in the Fertilizer Value Chain”.

Dr. Ntupanyama said increasing the private sector in enhancing access to and use of quality fertilizers in a profitable manner by the farmers is a principal focus in the fertilizer value chain.

She said the Ministry recognises that farmers in the country grow different crops on soils that have different nutrient deficiencies saying if farmers are to increase the productivity of these crops, there is need to support the private sector investments in fertilizer blending and packaging.

“I therefore call upon the private sector to tap on to this opportunity to invest in blending fertilizers with the aim of producing fertilizer blends that can be accessed by our farmers to boost their yields. If we can achieve this, it will contribute to increased sustainable agricultural production and productivity, a key priority under the National Agriculture Policy (NAP),” said Dr. Ntupanyama.

She further said the private sector investment in fertilizer value chain will also facilitate reforms of various institutions, organisations, public and private entities engaging in the fertilizer industry of Malawi.

“If properly structured and funded, such investments will help to remove some of the inefficiencies that are associated with the current underfunded system,” she added.

She urged participants to seize the opportunity to provide inputs that will inform the National Fertilizer Policy.
“It is my hope that the deliberations from this symposium will highlight areas that need to be considered for improving the availability, accessibility and incentives to use fertilizers by smallholder farmers,” she said.

Complementing the Chief Director, Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (LUANAR) Vice Chancellor Professor George Kanyama Phiri said the symposium aimed at contributing to sustainable economic productivity in the country as well as the sub-Saharan Africa.

“Improving the agricultural enabling environment is of paramount importance in achieving sustainable productivity growth not only in Malawi but also the entire Africa region,” said Professor Kanyama Phiri.
He said developing and implementing policies and regulations to stimulate the private sector investment in the fertilizer value chain is of paramount importance.

“Again finding sustainable solutions to the declining soil fertility heavily affected by climate change that leads to low productivity, will go a long way to achieve sustainable economic development of the country,” he added.

Professor Kanyama Phiri , went on to thank Michigan State University (MSU) through the Alliance for African Partnership (AAP) for providing research awards to promote collaborations with African partners and institutions to develop capacity for conducting international research for MSU researchers and African partners and promote scholarly findings.

In his remarks, Acting Director, Centre for Agricultural Research and Development (CARD) of LUANAR, Dr. Thabbie Chilongo said the Symposium was organized with support from a research consortium called “Partnership for Enabling Market Environments for Fertilizer in Africa (PEMEFA)” where the Centre CARD is a member representing the Regional Network of Agricultural Policy and Research Institutes (RENAPRI).

He said the Symposium was expected to stimulate debate on how the existing knowledge gaps on fertilizer policy and regulatory issues in Malawi and Africa in general can be filled, more especially on the importance of fertilizer markets for African agricultural development.

Currently the Ministry has just drafted the National Fertilizer Policy through the New Alliance Policy Acceleration Support Project (NAPAS-Malawi).