The Flemish government has pledged to assist Malawi with at least 25 million Euros (about K14 billion) towards the agriculture sector.

The amount was announced during the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on agriculture between the governments of Malawi and Flanders at Kamuzu Palace in Lilongwe.

President Joyce Banda and visiting Minister-President of the Flemish Government in Belgium, Kris Peeters signed the MoU.

Speaking during the ceremony, President Banda commended the Flanders for the financial support it gives to the country, which she said are without attached conditions hence helping in the speedy implementation of the funded projects .

“We are pleased that the Flemish Government respects our priorities and are willing to work within our system,” said Banda.

“I believe that it is better when a financial package is earmarked towards one sector rather than spread among many sectors.

Minister-President of Flanders, Kris Peeters, also officially opened the Lisasadzi training centre in Kasungu on Wednesday, which has been rehabilitated with financial support from his government.

Banda said the centre will assist in the training of extension workers in the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security.

Peeters said the implementation of the MoU will be for the next five years and will help Malawi in agriculture sector to ensure that the country remains food sufficient.

“The implementation of the MoU will run for the next five years and agriculture sector will be of our interest,” Peeters said.

‘Right to food’
Peeters, who also opened a seminar on the right to food in southern Africa in the capital said the right to food is a complex policy issue that needs to be strengthened.
The Flemish leader emphasized that people should claim their rights, including right to food, which is sometimes neglected.

And Agriculture Minister Peter Mwanza said if a minimum of 10% of resources could be allocated to agriculture in African Countries, food security can be achieved.

Almost 870 million people around the world go to bed hungry every night, according to the World Health Organisation.

The Flanders Government adopted Malawi as its third country partner in January, 2007.

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