Vice President Saulos Chilima has commended smallholder farmers in the country for their role they play in agriculture and economic activities.

Chilima made the commendation when he opened the 18th Annual General Meeting of the National Smallholder Farmers Association of Malawi (NASFAM) at Crossroads Hotel in Lilongwe.

He said smallholder farmers play an important role in various agricultural and economic activities of the country hence the need for stakeholders in the agriculture sector to join hands and give them the necessary support.

“Smallholder farmers play a very important role in agricultural activities and have contributed positively to the country’s economy. Their contribution in farming is not small,” said Chilima.

The Veep said Government is aware of the many challenges smallholder farmers were facing in the country despite their hardworking, citing poor access to markets, low productivity and climate change as some of the major problems.

Chilima also challenged smallholder farmers to embark on more food and cash crops if they were to improve their living conditions thereby contributing to development of the country.

He therefore called on stakeholders to impart knowledge and skills of modern farming technologies to smallholder farmers to ensure that they realized maximum benefit from agricultural activities.

“There are many new farming technologies that farmers can adopt and that can only be possible if they got supported by stakeholders like NASFAM,” he said.

Chilima thanked donors and other Nongovernmental Organisations for providing support to smallholder farmers in the country.

Speaking earlier the Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development Dr. Allan Chiyembekeza said his Ministry is working on the new agriculture policy that will harmonize all the policies to create conducive environment for the smallholder farmers.

The National Smallholder Farmers Association of Malawi started in 1994 as a project and thereafter became the Association working with motivated farmers in some of the districts in the country.

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