By: Vincent Gunde
AGRICULTURE IS CENTRAL FOR PEOPLES’ WELFARE
Media practitioners in the country are undergoing a- 3 day training workshop on the Kulima program for farmers to increase incomes, employment and food security in Malawi.
Agriculture constitutes the background of the Malawi economy and agricultural performance has greater implications for economic growth and poverty reduction than any other sector, especially in rural areas.
However, poverty has remained pervasive especially in rural areas, among women and other disadvantaged groups, driven by the poor performance of the agriculture sector, volatile economic growth, population growth, and limited opportunities in non- farm activities.
Pic: SPMSGAg Team Leader, Dr. Terry Davies Evidence based journalism is the first step in the SPMSGAg capacity building programme
Speaking when she opened the training workshop, Dr. Terry Davies, Team Leader for Support to Parliament and Media to Strengthen Governance on Agriculture sector( SPMSGAg) , said Kutukula Ulimi m’Malawi( Kulima) is a- 5 year programme funded by the European Union ( EU) to promote farming practices in Malawi.
Dr. Davies said an evidence- based approach to governance strengthening is based on the premise that better governance, better policies and better decision- making result.
She said the workshop in Evidence based journalism is the first step in the SPMSGAg capacity building programme of activity aimed at strengthening governance in agriculture and related sectors.
The Team Leader, then, urged the media personnel to write credible news on the agriculture sector as they have the power and voice to change behaviour and strengthen it.
She said Parliament has a new cohort of MPs and must work with the media so that they are able to comprehend the issues they have in agriculture sector in Malawi.
In his remarks, a senior Lecturer at the Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources ( LUANAR), Dr. Japhet Mchakulu, said journalists job is to find and tell good stories for the people to understand that distinction.
Dr. Mchakulu said most journalists are not specialists in agriculture but bringing informations to the under coverage, hence mass media is crucial in helping both farmers and Parliamentary committees, in accessing information that they need to coordinate their efforts.
He urged agriculture stakeholders and project holders the need to view journalists as stakeholders at all levels of the policy- making stage.