By Frank kadzakumanja

On 12th July 2012, Her Excellency Mrs Joyce Banda, President of The Republic of Malawi, launched "Feed the Future Initiative"at Tidi Village in Lilongwe. During her speech, The President said that there is need for farmers to improve the quality of their products if the agriculture sector is to develop.  Banda said this project is in line with her vision of improving Malawi's enormous agricultural potential to fight hunger and malnutrition. 

The MK6.8 billion project has been funded by United States Agency International Development (USAID) and it aims at sustainably reducing poverty and improving the nutrition status of people in rural areas.

 Her Excellency Mrs Banda And Mr Kristian Moller  

Her Excellency Mrs Joyce Banda Listening to a presentation by Kristian Schach Moller

During the launch, there were presentations by agricultural companies to the President and Principal Advisor for Agricultural Commodity Exchange for Africa (ACE), Kristian Schach Moller made a presentation on the benefits of the warehouse Receipt system (WRS) and Marketing information Systems to the farmer. He said ACE is working hand in hand with farmers across Malawi to avoid losses made soon after harvest by enabling them to store grain in certified warehouses and sell at better prices later when the demand is low. He said that when famers deposit their grain, they also have access to a loan to offset immediate cash needs. And again while the farmers wait for higher prices and potential for profits, ACE sends them messages to their phones about prices of commodities using a system called ESOKO.He added that ACE also links buyers and sellers using the trading platform which is reliable and transparent. Experience from around the world illustrates that warehouse receipt system can make a huge difference to farmers if fully utilized. Farmers wait until market reaches its perceived peak to reap more benefit and improve their livelihoods.

Speaking at the same function, Minister of Agriculture and Food Security thanked USAID for the project aimed at developing agricultural diversification and fighting hunger in Malawi.

The US Ambassador to Malawi, Jeanine Jackson said during her speech that her government was pleased to support and complement the vision of her Excellency, Mrs. Joyce Banda in eradicating poverty and hunger in Malawi.