FAO, EU and Malawi government discuss way forward in ending hunger and malnutritionListen /
Crop diversification, increasing the productivity and production of farmers through small-scale irrigation projects, improving local market systems, and other actions being implemented by the government could give a strong push to the eradication of hunger and malnutrition in Malawi, Director-General José Graziano da Silva said on Wednesday.
"It was interesting to hear about government programs to support small-scale livestock production and crop diversification," Graziano da Silva said following a high-level discussion with President Joyce Banda of Malawi and EU Development Commissioner, Andris Piebalgs.
The FAO Director-General said the organization "is ready to increase its assistance to develop agriculture, improve food security and increase the income of poor families in Malawi. Linking agriculture to social protection and empowering gender are ways to consolidate and build on the gains so far".
He also noted the importance of involving the private sector and civil society organizations in the fight against hunger and malnutrition and building the government's capacity.
FAO, the EU and the Government of Malawi also agreed that sustainable land use and the rights that go with it should be part of the rural development work being done.
President Banda highlighted the presidential initiative to diversify and improve local production and nutrition that was launched two weeks ago. She added that small-scale irrigation projects and marketing assistance to absorb the increased production by farmers could encourage Malawian farmers to produce even more.
Donn Bobb, United Nations.