17 May 2014

Malawi: Oxfam Says It Will Continue Access to Agriculture Market Campaign

Lilongwe — In a bid to help smallholder farmers realize their sweat, Oxfam Malawi has promised that it will continue its Access to Agricultural Markets Campaign.

Speaking on Friday after a day-long farmers' workshop held at Crossroads Hotel in Lilongwe, Oxfam is committed to improving the lives of farmers in the country and that it will continue with the campaigns.

"We are very committed to seeing farmers successful and this is just the beginning of more campaigns to come as our wish is to see farmers having portable and good markets for their produce and ADMARC coming back to its usual self for the well-being of farmers and the country as a whole," Akinyeni, Associate Country Director, said.

Akinyeni also commended the media for giving good coverage to the just ended campaign.

Farmers Union of Malawi (FUM) President, Kapichira Banda, commended Oxfam for its tireless support to Malawian smallholder farmers, saying this would improve their livihoods.

"The just ended campaign was successful because of Oxfam for its support and it is my wish that such campaigns will continue," Banda said.

He further urged politicians to fulfil their promises so that the fruits of this campaign should be realized hence having a good Malawi.

"Politicians have to fulfill their promises as they are there because of these poor farmers," he said.

Representing the District Commissioner (DC) for Lilongwe, Lilongwe District Agriculture Officer, Hastings Yotamu said the government through the Ministry of Agriculture has put in place a number of programmes to support smallholder farmer's agricultural productivity and much more needs to be done to enable them sell their produce and make profits.

"Through this campaign, we have seen that the issue of markets for farmers has become visible and farmers' voices have been heard so I thank Oxfam for their initiative to bail out poor Malawian farmer," Yotamu said.

Yotamu also asked farmers across the country to vote for leaders who would ensure access to profitable markets and he urged the politicians that once voted into government, they must fulfil their promises as signed in this campaign.

One of the farmers, Kamkwamba Kalea of Chilukuni villafe, T/A Katumbi in Rumphi who is also chairperson for Mtende Co-operative Society in the district commended Oxfam for the support, saying the organisation is giving farmers a platform to benefit from their produce.

Ndidzavotera Campaign was launched in February to get political will and commitment to addressing challenges faced by smallholder farmers in accessing profitable and stable markets and empowering ADMARC. The next campaign will resume after the general elections slated for Tuesday, May 20.

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