Thyolo, November 7: President Dr. Joyce Banda says government is committed to modernising and commercialising subsistence farming into agribusiness as her government will do everything possible to take all farms that are idle and give them to farmers for commercial farming.
President Banda was speaking at Bvumbwe Research ground where she launched activities of the Presidential Initiative on Poverty and Hunger Reduction.
Among other duties, the President handed over Anchor Estate formally Nantipwili Estate which has been idle for five years to the people of Thyolo to do commercial farming.
“I felt bad when I heard that anchor estate has been idle for five years yet people here in Thyolo do not have enough land for cultivation as most of lands were occupied by estates as sub- tradition authority Khwethemule said last time I came here In Thyolo.
“This farm has two big dams which will help in irrigation and fish farming, which will help to improve the lives of people from Thyolo especially if we take agriculture as business,” said President Banda.
She said the farm will be a demonstration place for the initiative and therefore farmers should work hard in order to give a good image of the project on the other hand their families will be transformed after selling their crops.
“This farm will be a training center for farmers, livestock breeding, crop and seed multiplication and fish farming. Let me also remind the beneficiallies of this project never to sell the land.
“Government has bought this land for you to cultivate crops that will give you money after sailing,” Banda added.
President Banda also appealed to all those who will be responsible for the distribution of the land to make sure that the land should go to the intended beneficiaries.
She also expressed her satisfaction for being associated with the initiative as it aims at transforming lives of people through economic growth.
President Banda also thanked all chiefs in the country who put the welfare of people at heart.
“When I came at Thyolo Boma Sub Traditional Authority Khwethemule asked my government to buy farms and give those who don’t have land to cultivate. This is just the beginning and I want to assure the nation that the project will continue.
“Government relies much on chiefs as what chief Khwethemule demonstrated when he asked me to do something on the issue of land here in Thyolo,” said Banda
In his remarks, Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Dr. James Munthali, in collaboration with the Ministry of Lands assured the nation that they will do everything possible to acquire all lands and farms that are idle to give people to cultivate.
Speaking at the function member of parliament for Thyolo north Annita Kalinde who is also the minister of water development and irrigation thanked the president for coming up with the presidential initiative on poverty and hunger reduction.
She said people from Thyolo are very delighted with the government for honouring them with the land to do commercial farming.
Anchor estate is situated in Bvumbwe and it has 199.93 hectares of farmland.