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NASFAM calls for enhanced collaboration among stakeholders in groundnut industry

National Smallholder Farmers Association of Malawi (NASFAM) called for strengthened collaboration and coordination among major stakeholders in the groundnut sector, stressing that this is key in achieving sustainability goals by leveraging the resources, expertise, and networks of different actors in the value chain.

NASFAM Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Betty Chinyamunyamu, made the sentiments on Thursday during a panel discussion held on the sidelines of the 2024 Groundnut Tour in Malawi. The panel discussion was themed: “How the groundnut industry is driving innovation and building export potential.”

The Groundnut Tour in Malawi is a high-profile event showcasing Malawi’s emerging groundnut sector and business opportunities in the value chain.

Key objectives of the event were to exhibit the investments throughout the value chain that are enabling Malawi to produce high-quality, low-price groundnuts for international and regional markets; raise awareness among Malawian farmers of opportunities in groundnut, including new varieties and technologies; and provide opportunities for networking among key value chain players.

Among others, the participants challenged local groundnut farmers to produce one million metric tons whose market has been secured outside Malawi.

This prompted Chinyamunyamu to emphasize the need for all the players, which include smallholder farmers, processors, regulators, researchers, government, non-governmental organizations and local communities, to work collaboratively in order achieve this goal.

At this point, Dr. Chinyamunyamu CEO proposed the establishment of what she termed as a Groundnut Council or Groundnut Community to oversee the production and pricing of the crop.

“It is very important that for us to develop the groundnut industry, there must be support provided across the entire value chain. All the way from the seed exchange, to extension [services], agronomic practices, pricing even markets. And in order for that kind of collaboration to be well grounded, it is important that there are systems and structures in place that can support that. There are many places that are working in the groundnut sector, and if there is no platform where there can be collaboration, it is possible that instead of building, you will find that you are working against each other because you are not aware of what others are doing,” she said.

Dr. Chinyamunyamu: We need stronger collaboration among key players–Photo by Watipaso Mzungu

Dr. Chinyamunyamu further challenged policymakers to fast-track research on climate-resilient groundnut varieties to mitigate effects of climate change.

She said with weather patterns changing every now and then, it is important that farmers are provided with varieties that can endure dry spells and other adverse effects of climate change.

The 2024 Ground Tour in Malawi also created a platform to launch a groundnut industry community in Malawi and to galvanize commitment to improving the enabling environment for the industry.

And during the four days of the tour, participants inspected operations along all points in the Malawi Groundnut value chain, including research and development, seed production, and processing; attended presentations and conversations on the future of groundnut in Malawi.

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