NASFAM Wins Best Farmer Organization Award

NASFAM Wins Best Farmer Organization Award

By Pilirani Mazizi

The National Smallholder Farmers’ Association of Malawi (NASFAM), emerged as the best farmer organization during this year’s National Agriculture Fair (NAF) which took place at the Chichiri Trade Fair grounds, Blantyre from 12th to 14th November, 2021.

Reacting to the development, NASFAM Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Betty Chinyamunyamu said it is an honour for the organisation to get this recognition because it endorses one of their core values – ‘excellence’.

Chinyamunyamu said NASFAM is a smallholder led organisation that has embraced agricultural commercialisation and is committed to producing quality agricultural commodities and products for both the local and export market.

“We are a pacesetter, and therefore a role model to other Farmer Organisations on the importance of embracing agricultural commercialisation, value addition and innovation. We are humbled but at the same time very encouraged that we have won an award every year for the past 10 years. The icing on the cake is that during this period, we have also won some awards at the Africa continental level”, Chinyamunyamu said.

On what makes the organisation unique to be wining different awards each year at the NAF for a decade, she said NASFAM being a smallholder farmer owned organisation, everything they do is aimed at benefiting the smallholder farmer.

“We also believe that farming is a business. Consequently, we are persuaded to only implement interventions that will be profitable and that is why we are in value addition because this generates more incomes than selling raw commodities”, she said.

Considering the recognition comes at a time when Covid-19 affected operations for the past 2 years, Chinyamunyamu said innovation and flexibility to adapt helped them thrive in the challenging Covid-19 environment.

To ensure sustainable agricultural growth, President Dr. Lazarus Chakwera, who officially opened the 17th National Agriculture Fair, emphasised on the need for Malawi to revolutionise the country’s agriculture sector so as to promote food security and support wealth and job creation for a sustained economic transformation.

“As a matter of urgency let us move from using holes to mechanisation. Let us move from relying on a rain-fed agriculture and concentrate on irrigation farming. Let us change from subsistence to commercial farming,” Chakwera said

Echoing Malawi leader’s sentiments, Malawi Confederation of Chambers of Commerce and industry (MCCCI) president, James Chimwanza said agriculture has potential to transform the country’s economy if treated as a tool for wealth creation.

This year’s National Agriculture Fair was held under the theme “building the agriculture sector back and better in a Covid-19 environment,” with the aim to encourage players in the sector to develop resilience for sustainable agricultural growth in times of shocks such as Covid-19 pandemic. Over 69 organisations from both public and private sector participated in this year’s agriculture fair.