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Malawi's President wins inaugural FANRPAN Food Security Policy Leadership Award
September 2008


Malawian President, His Excellency, Dr. Bingu wa Mutharika, has received the inaugural Food Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN) Food Security Policy Leadership Award for his agricultural policy interventions which have transformed Malawi from a food deficit nation to a net maize exporter.

The Award is being given by FANRPAN, a regional multi-stakeholder network promoting effective food security policies in Southern Africa. The network was established in 1997 following a call by Ministers of Agriculture in East and Southern Africa for a grouping bringing together governments, farmer organisations, researchers and the private sector to inform policy development. FANRPAN supports food and agricultural policy processes in 12 Southern African countries through its regional Secretariat in South Africa.

FANRPAN CEO, Dr. Lindiwe Majele Sibanda said the Award was established in 2008 to honour individuals or organizations that made effective evident contributions towards food security and poverty alleviation in Southern Africa. In the backdrop of the global food crisis which has hit the whole world and affected the region, Malawi's food policies are a demonstration that African countries have the capacity to be food secure if they apply the right policies.

"His Excellency, President wa Mutharika has implemented policies in support of its Agricultural Input Subsidy Programme and institutional arrangements," said Dr. Sibanda, adding that, "Malawi's success story is an inspiration to the region and His Excellency, President wa Mutharika is the most deserving winner of the inaugural FANRPAN Award."

Dr. Sibanda said African smallholder farmers are resource poor and they need support. Malawi had demonstrated that policies, improve agricultural productivity.

As a result of the agricultural input subsidy programme (AISP) Malawi has had bumper harvests for three successive years. Malawi's Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, Dr. Andrew Daudi, said the subsidy programme was the basis for the success in Malawi's maize harvest and that the government was committed to replicating it. Dr. Daudi said the visionary leadership of President wa Mutharika had helped turn around Malawi's food fortunes.

The FANRPAN Food Security Policy Leadership Award to be given annually has no cash prize. It comprises of a variety of productive prizes all donated by FANRPAN's partners. The prizes are related to capacity building in the agricultural industry and to FANRPAN's core policy research themes: i) Food security ii) Agricultural productivity iii) Natural Resources and Environment and iv) HIV/AIDS mitigation, all aimed at promoting economic growth and employment creation.

African Union Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture, Madame Rhoda Tumusiime, who read the citation for the FANRPAN Food Security Policy Leadership Award, said the current global food crisis was wake up call for the rest of the world, in particular for Africa, to rethink its strategies on food security.

"Africa has to invest in helping its farmers to access inputs, training and technologies to help them reach global markets," said Madame Tumusiime, who remarked that Malawi has become a shining example for the rest of the continent through its focused policies on food production.

Malawi's Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Hon. Frank Mwendifumbo, received the Award on behalf of President wa Mutharika. The Award which includes a trophy, a signed certificate and prizes was presented at a special ceremony during the FANRPAN Stakeholders Regional Policy Dialogue held in Malawi from 2-5 September 2008.


For Further information and interviews, please contact:

Dr. Lindiwe Majele Sibanda, CEO/Head of Mission
Regional Secretariat
141 Cresswell Street, Weavind Park 0184
Private Bag X813, Silverton 0127, Pretoria, South Africa
Tel: + 27 (0) 12 845 9100
Email:
Website: www.fanrpan.org

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