Lilongwe, March 7: The highly powered delegation from Food and Agriculture Organization, (FAO) and European Union (EU) which was in the country said on Thursday that Malawi’s hunger situation would be under control this year.
Speaking to journalists before departure at Kamuzu International Air Port (KIA) in Lilongwe, EU Commissioner for Development Andris Piebalgs, and FAO Director General, Jose Graziano Da Silva said their interaction with the President, farmers and various stakeholders gave them an assurance that Malawi was a country on a move towards food sustainability.
“The hunger situation in the country is, in my opinion, under control,” said Piebalgs, “I believe that what I have seen and discussed with farmers is very encouraging and we leave the country very impressed.”
The EU Commissioner said it was very crucial that Malawi Government had a very clear development policy and that the Union hoped to work together with government to make necessary change for the citizens of Malawi’s welfare.
Piebalgs said his advice to Malawi Government was that it should keep on the course and never to relent on the reforms currently being implemented.
“I would like to advise Malawi Government not to slow down on reformations even with the elections just ahead,” said the EU Commissioner.
Commenting on the same, FAO Director General Da Silva said he did not foresee a serious drop in food security in the country owing to what he had personally seen while in the country, and also based on the FAO Food Index which he said would be released on the Organization’s site.
“We are working together with Malawi Government to find a way to promote the cash transfer program to ensure that we complement the other programs which seem to be successful and to the benefit of many in as far as food security is concerned,” said Da Silva.
The two top officials arrived in the country on Tuesday, March 5, 2013 for joint official meetings with President Dr. Joyce Banda, heads of various ministries and other stakeholders among them the civil society, and the private sector.
The two also toured two respective agricultural programs in Dowa and Lilongwe funded respectively by EU and FAO respectively where they appreciated the projects’ progress and interacted with farmers.