Ray of hope for Malawi farmers

post was last updated: May 14, 2019

By William Kumwembe:

Agricultural Transformation Initiative, a foundation advocating diversified production, has unveiled plans to establish Centre for Agricultural Transformation (CAT) in Malawi, in its efforts to unlock income opportunities for smallholder farmers.

CAT will partner academic and research institutions, farmers, businesses, financial institutions and local associations.

Launching this month, the CAT consortium would comprise four leading agricultural development and academic institutions including Land O’Lakes International Development, the University Of Minnesota College Of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences, Stellenbosch University and the Malawi University of Science and Technology.

It is a science, technology, and business incubation project that will strategically commercialise and disseminate innovations to support smallholder Malawian farmers in making economically viable, data-driven decisions for diversifying incomes.

A statement ATI issued Monday indicates that the initiative is expected to be operational by end of May and will be headquartered in Lilongwe.

“The Center for Agricultural Transformation will facilitate the development of new technologies, partnerships and income opportunities to help farmers achieve greater economic certainty in the coming years,” reads part of the statement.

Using scientific, technological, and agribusiness expertise and deep regional connections, the Center is set to help farmers and businesses build long-term resilience through diversifying agricultural production in Malawi.

CAT Programme Director, Giselle Aris, said the initiative would bring tangible impact to the agriculture industry.

“We look forward to collaborating with Malawian businesses, scientists, and innovators whose ideas could be expanded through business incubation and commercialization,” Aris said.

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