Lilongwe — Malawi has been commended on its efforts put in place in addressing food security at the national and household level and implementing the Dar-es-Salaam Declaration on food security.
This comes as the SADC secretariat emphasized in Lilongwe in a press conference that one of one of SADC top priorities is to ensure adequate and quality food security within the region.
Deputy Executive secretary for SADC Regional Integration Dr Thembankosi Mhlongo said Malawi has dedicated itself in following the Dar-es-Salaam Declaration which he said is one of the key subject matter guiding the SADC community in addressing food security within the region.
On May 15, 2004 in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania, 14 SADC member states declared to commit themselves in promoting agriculture as a pillar in their respective countries and regional development programmes in order t attain short, medium and long term objectives on agriculture and food security.
In the Dar-es-Salaam Declaration, said he, one of the key aspects was the recognition of the role of smallholder farmers in addressing food security situation at household level which he said is a very big concept.
"You can be food secure as a country but people could still be starving. So, food security at the household level has a different dimension altogether. And SADC's approach on that issue is implementing the Dar-es-Salaam declaration with emphasis on small holder farming.
"I know in Malawi government is putting a lot of emphasis in smallholder farming in terms of subsidizing inputs which is actually also in the Dar-es-Salaam Declaration.
"Actually, Malawi is one of the countries that has shown that if you take the measures of the Dar-es-Salaam Declaration you can achieve specific objectives. At one point Malawi even had a surplus and this surplus came from smallholder farmers," said he.
The Deputy Executive Secretary further said International organizations, The Unite Nations (UN) and the whole world at large is putting smallholder farming as priority to which he revealed is revealed is also favorite to the donor community as it holds the key to address food security.
Currently, according to him, African states outside the SADC region as well have also committed themselves in investing 10 percent of their budgets to agriculture with specific programmes at country level.
"So if appropriate actions are taken to implement protocols the SADC leaders agreed in addressing food security you will see a lot of changes," said Dr Mhlongo.