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With financial support from the European Union (EU), the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has procured and handed over 14 vehicles to the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development of Malawi to support two agricultural programmes, KULIMA and Afikepo

malawi vansFAO strengthens extension services in Malawi with logistics. (Image source: kenny lynch/Flickr)

These are five-year EU-funded programmes, designed with the goal of improving agricultural productivity and food and nutrition security.

These complementary programmes have a strong component for building capacity of extension workers on transformative participatory farmer learning approaches like the Farmer Field School and use of Care Groups for enhancing nutrition education.

About 600 extension workers and 8000 community-based facilitators will be trained. These, in turn, will train and mentor at least 400,000 farm families in the 10 districts on various sustainable production practices within a nutrition-sensitive agriculture lens, to enhance their logical decision-making process and improve their livelihoods.

Speaking at the handing-over ceremony, Patrick Kormawa, sub-regional coordinator for Southern Africa at FAO, commented, “One of the main challenges affecting the delivery of extension services is mobility of extension workers. This consignment of 14 vehicles being handed over today is to facilitate coordination and supervision of the two programmes by the Agricultural Development Divisions (ADD) and the respective project districts. Under the same arrangement, 450 motorcycles and 8000 bicycles are being procured to facilitate the frontline extension workers and community-based facilitators respectively in the 10 project districts.”

Malawi’s Minister for Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development, Joseph Mwanamvekha, extended his gratitude and acknowledged that mobility is key in ensuring that achievement of goals for programmes of KULIMA and Afikepo is well supported through effective outreach.