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The National Planning Commission (NPC) says a sustainable and resilient agriculture sector will help the country attain a middle-income status by 2030.

The commission’s knowledge and learning director Joseph Nagoli said this on Thursday in Mangochi during a Civil Society Agriculture Network (CisaNet) Agricultural and Food-system Resilience: Increasing Capacity and Advising Policy conference.

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He said: “Agriculture productivity and commercialisation is one of the pillars to achieve the Malawi Vision 2063. But effects of climate change such as droughts and floods impede stable agricultural production, which is affecting realisation of this pillar to graduate to middle-income economy and achieve most of the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.

“Implementation of this climate-smart agriculture interventions will help to end hunger, thereby reducing poverty as the enhanced agricultural growth will improve livelihoods and prosperity.”

On her part, CisaNet acting national director Tendai Saidi said the programme’s farm-based studies in Balaka and Nkhotakota have ensured sustainable and resilient agriculture and food production to climatic shocks.

She said apart from predicting future climatic risk conditions for policymakers to consider in protecting the environment for sustainable agriculture, the climate-smart agriculture interventions such as conservation agriculture, planting of improved maize seed varieties and irrigation farming in two districts enhanced farmers‘s resilience.

On her part, Department of Agricultural Planning Services principal economist Sarah Tione commended the programme for providing them training on how to address climate shock-related issues affecting the sector and economy. With funds from the United Kingdom, CisaNet, in partnership with University of Leeds and Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network, implemented a four-year research programme in Balaka and Nkhotakota to improve evidence-based policymaking to develop sustainable, productive, resilient agricultural systems to climate change to end hunger.“`

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