This National Agricultural Policy shall contribute to the attainment of national food security, poverty reduction and national economic development objectives as outlined in the Malawi Growth and Development Strategy (MGDS). The Policy deal with a wide variety of matters including agricultural inputs, food and nutrition security, agricultural extension, land resources management, crop production, fisheries and aquaculture management, livestock, agricultural markets development, gender, hiv and aids and agricultural development, climate change and environmental issues and biofuels and agricultural development. Policy objectives and policy actions to achieve the policy objective are stated for each of these thematic areas. The Policy also concerns the institutional framework and coordination and policy implementation. Guiding principles of the Policy include realignment to regional and international policies (notably the Comprehensive African Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP)) and responsiveness to gender in agricultural and rural development.As for agricultural inputs, policy objectives and actions are specified for fertilizers, seed and pesticides. Policy actions to achieve the policy objective of improvement food security and nutritional status of all people in Malawi include minimization pre-harvest and post-harvest losses, crop diversification, programmes that reduce dependency on rain-fed agriculture, development of sector guidelines for mitigating natural disasters and promotion of the adoption of healthy lifestyle and dietary habits. The Policy shall promote a balanced and diversified production of food and cash crops amongst the farmers to meet the country’s requirements for food, foreign exchange and raising rural incomes while maintaining the productive potential of the land. Policy actions to achieve the policy objective to maximize the sustainable yield from the national waters of Malawi and man-made water bodies and to improve the efficiency of exploitation of fish resources and processing and marketing of quality fish product include: development of institutional capacity; access to credit by small fishermen and fish farmers and greater community involvement in fish resource management. In livestock the government seeks to improve livestock productivity through a well-organized and developed value chain system.The Policy recognizes the need for gender equality as a fundamental value in provision of agriculture services to ensure equal participation of all gender categories.The Policy recognizes that Malawi is vulnerable to the effects of climate change because of its reliance on rain-fed agriculture. Proposed measures for adaptation to climate change include: improving vulnerability assessment to provide early warning on food security; enhancing food security and developing community-based storage systems for seed and food; ensuring that all agriculture projects and programmes undertaken in the sector have had environmental impact assessments.
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