Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development Kondwani Nankhumwa, has encouraged the youth to strive for entrepreneurship, especially in agriculture, saying it is the fuel for sustainable development of the country, instead of scrambling for white collar jobs.
Nankhumwa: Malawi is in the area of capacity building more especially in the agriculture sector Nankhumwa at the Natural Resources College (NRC) Graduation Ceremony of Intake of 32 Symposium in Lilongwe Nankhumwa said it is the wish of President Peter Mutharika to engage young people to foster development in the country.
He was speaking at the Natural Resources College (NRC) Graduation Ceremony of Intake of 32 Symposium in Lilongwe on Thursday, January 23, 2020 whose theme was "Enhancing Agricultural Diversification Through Value Addition and Sustainable Use of Natural Resources, fuel for sustainable National Development."
"We gather here today to witness the work done by students of Intake 32; it gives us all a reflection of how capable Malawi is in the area of capacity building more especially in the agriculture sector. We all know that human capital development is key for the economy of any country since it is the educated and well trained society that can ably transform the country meaningfully.
"We know that for Intake 32 students, this has been a day you eagerly awaited to demonstrate the skills acquired over the years of your stay here in college," said Nankhumwa.
The minister noted that the selection of the symposium theme was in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals whose underlining principle is to make the right choices now to improve life and add value to the produce in a sustainable way, for future generations.
Nankhumwa said it is the wish of President Peter Mutharika to engage young people to foster development in the country.
He said the Mutharika administration would like to eradicate poverty by enhancing the integration of agricultural, environmental and natural resources management as stipulated in the Sustainable Development Goals with the aim of addressing challenges of food-insecurity, malnutrition and unemployment among the youth.
"The investment and contribution done by LUANAR-NRC has always remained unique in fostering the country's development. NRC has remained relevant to the society over the past decades and is always considered as hub in training a cadre of extension personnel that ably interfaces with the rural masses," he said.
The minister thanked lecturers and acknowledged the support from the NRC administration "in mentoring the students to this level".
"Let me in a special way thank the University administration and lecturers in particular who have tirelessly worked with you and have motivated you to reach this far. Your practical competences are what government is looking forward particularly in championing the community development initiatives, which are in line with the national development goals," he said.
Nankhumwa said the theme for the symposium was fitting very well with the vision of agricultural extension in Malawi as articulated in the current policy upon which farmers should be able to demand and have access to high quality extension services provided by those who are best able to deliver them.
"One major principle underlining the policy is to do with resource sustainability. This is in view of the fact that resources for providing quality Extension Services are shrinking and therefore it is prudent to make sure that such resources are indeed locally available and used more efficiently by all players in the sector," said the minister.
He also noted that climate change had brought many challenges to people's lives, ranging from crop and animal pests and diseases to weather-related hazards including drought, erratic rains, floods and high temperatures.
"However, we feel so much proud and confident in you since you have been exposed to several improved technologies which will help rural communities in managing these agricultural risks," he said.
Principal for NRC-LUANAR, Dr Moses Chinyama said the students have been equipped with skills and knowledge to enable them work competently in different agricultural sub-sectors.
"The intake 32 students have worked hard at being vibrant members of the society," he said, calling on government and organizations to employ them as they have been fully prepared for work and business.