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President Joyce Banda Officially Launches Feed the Future in Malawi, Pledges Support for Developing Agriculture

On July 12, President Joyce Banda of Malawi officially launched the Feed the Future initiative in Chiwamba, announcing the country’s flagship Feed the Future project, which will focus on integrating nutrition into Malawi’s agriculture sector. President Banda was joined by the Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Hon. Professor Peter Mwanza; USAID Chief Economist, Dr. Steven Radelet; and U.S. Ambassador Jeanine Jackson.

In her remarks, President Banda lauded Feed the Future’s value chain approach to food security, which entails making focused investments in areas ranging from production to consumption in order to improve agriculture and nutrition. She noted that Feed the Future supports and complements her own Presidential Initiative on Hunger and Poverty Reduction; both initiatives focus on diversifying Malawian agriculture, with special emphasis on the legumes and livestock value chains.

In addition, President Banda pledged that her government would provide basic services for development and urged the private sector to be a partner in Malawi by playing a major role in growing and developing the agriculture sector.

President Banda spoke to the critical role that USAID played in shaping her vision for development. As a participant in a USAID Women in Development study tour to the United States in the late 1980s, President Banda credits the trip with inspiring and enabling her to found Malawi’s active and vibrant National Association of Business Women nearly 20 years ago. USAID will manage the flagship Feed the Future project to integrate nutrition into Malawi’s agricultural value chains.

In his remarks, USAID’s Radelet praised President Banda on her decisive action to improve the nation’s macro-economic policy, and her focus on addressing the governance and human rights issues that were inherited from the previous administration. He also highlighted the U.S. Government’s sustained commitment to collaborate with the Malawian government to implement Feed the Future and other Presidential initiatives such as the President’s Malaria Initiative and PEPFAR.

As part of the launch ceremony, President Banda visited a local female farmer who raises dairy cows and grows groundnuts, pigeon peas, and maize. She also attended an agriculture fair that showcased Feed the Future’s value chain approach and highlighted innovations in the three focus value chains of Malawi’s Feed the Future strategy: dairy, groundnuts, and soya. The fair included presentations by food processors, seed companies, farmer organizations, research centers, and government departments. 

Feed the Future aims to raise agricultural productivity, increase household incomes, and improve nutritional status, targeting 270,000 households in South-Central Malawi.

Did you know that Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton recently visited a Feed the Future site in Malawi? Read more about her trip to Africa!

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