BAM to host a two day agri-business indaba

Written by McDonald Chapalapata - The Daily Times on .

All is set for a two-day agri-business conference organised by the Bankers Association of Malawi (Bam) in Lilongwe mid July.

The indaba will offer an opportunity to key stakeholders from the country’s agriculture sector to brainstorm on measures for improving the sector’s input to the economy.

Among other topics include agri-business for economic growth in Africa, surviving the hurdles in the agriculture industry, living the agriculture miracle, and incentivisation and stimulation of agri-business in Africa.

news6Speakers include Kenyan legal practitioner, Professor Patrick Lumumba, Malawi Mangoes Managing Director, Charlie Leaper and Senior Private Sector Specialist at the World Bank, Efrem Chilima among others.

Bam Chief Executive Officer, Violette Santhe said in an interview yesterday that the association intends to facilitate the drive to commercialise the country’s agriculture sector, hence the meeting.

“Although our country has vast resources such as water and land that could support agricultural commercialisation, agricultural productivity is predominantly at subsistence level,” Santhe said.

She then said the country needed to find a lasting solution to the challenges rocking the sector.

A recent World Economic Forum suggested that often, poor countries export raw materials such as cocoa, iron ore and raw diamonds to rich countries who in turn, export to the same poor countries finished products such as chocolates, cars and jewels.

According to Santhe, Malawi needed to intensify its value addition drive if it is to become competitive on the international market.

“We hope that there would be positive feedback which would trigger significant investment in agriculture, thereby boosting trade,” said Santhe.

Minister of Agriculture, Joseph Mwanamvekha is expected to grace the event.