By Tione Andsen – Mana.
Government has said Members of Parliament (MPs) have a crucial role to play in supporting food systems in the country.
Minister of Agriculture, Robin Lowe, said this on Thursday during Food Systems de-briefing to the Joint Parliamentary Committees supported by Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) at Bingu International Convention Centre (BICC) in Lilongwe.
He said as representatives of their constituency, they have to provide support systems to ensure that their areas are food secure year in year out.
Lowe added that a food system calls for the creation of access roads and markets to which farm inputs and yields could easily be transported.
“We brought the MPs so that they should appreciate the views that national, regional and district dialogues have come up with regarding our current food systems,” the minister explained.
He said MPs need to be engaged in lobbying for funds allocated to the agriculture sector in the national budget.
Lowe said the food systems largely depend on production, distribution, transportation and consumption, and that involving legislators was to enable them get the feel of the views that have come out from national, regional and district dialogues.
The minister said the Affordable Input Programme (AIP) has done wonders in the country and the Southern Africa Region.
He said for many years, the country has been subjected to food insecurity and this year’s crop production is high.
AGRA Country Manager, Sophie Chitedze, said her organisation was supporting government to ensure it showcases its potential to the food system summit in September, 2021.
She said by 2030, the country should achieve 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by improving its food systems.
Chairperson for Parliamentary Committee on Agriculture, Sameer Suleiman, thanked the Ministry of Agriculture with help from AGRA, for organising the meeting for the MPS to have first hand information on issues of food systems in the country.
He said once food systems are improved, there would be likelihood that the country would be able to achieve United Nations SDGs by 2030.