The Ministry of Agriculture has called on stakeholders to be vigilant in interventions aimed at improving soil health in the country.
Director of Planning in the ministry, Rodwell Mzondie, made the call at the Bingu International Convention Centre (BICC) on Tuesday during a stakeholder validation workshop on Malawi Position Paper and Action Plan on fertilizer and soil health.
Mzondie said if stakeholders effectively play their roles on the matter, the crisis being experienced now because of soil erosion, will easily be dealt with.
“Catchment areas should also be looked at seriously because if we do not manage them despite whatever is happening on the farm, we cannot achieve the right thing since the soil gets eroded into the oceans,” says Mzondie.
He added that there should also be interpretation of terminologies used to disseminate information to farmers on technologies harnessed to maintain soil health.
The position paper and action plan workshop has been held in preparation for the upcoming summit on soil health that is to take place in Nairobi, Kenya from 5th to 7th of November, 2023.
Speaking during the same workshop, board of directors’ chairperson at Mwapata Institute, Richard Mkandawire said the workshop has acted as a roadmap for the summit as Malawi’s stand on the matter will clearly be presented.
“Everybody is saying that we need to take radical measures to respond to the major crisis that we are confronted with. This is a matter that is an emergency because we cannot allow our soil nutrient to be lost to Lake Malawi. Something has to be done”, he said.
Reacting to the development, Catholic Relief Services (CRS) which funded the workshop says it will ensure that there is food security at every household by promoting interventions of soil health sustainability.
CRS’ Country Representative, Sekai Mudonhi says they will among others complement Malawi government’s efforts in the intervention.
“So we saw it imperative to support Malawi in this. We are very happy to be here to discuss issues of soil health. 80 per cent of Malawi Population rely on agricultural activities for their livelihood so this is the big part of population”, says Mudonhi addin+g that the activities should be promoted entirely.
The workshop was patronized by officials from various sectors including fertilizer manufacturers, academicians and environmentalists.