Malawi conference marks successful step towards translating global findings to the country level

Malawian Minister of Agriculture Peter Mwanza addresses conference participants

During the Unleashing Agriculture's Potential for Improved Nutrition and Health in Malawi conference held earlier this week in Lilongwe, Malawi, policymakers, researchers, and other stakeholders engaged in energetic and vigorous discussion and mutual learning about how to make agricultural policies and programs more nutrition-and health-friendly in Malawi.

The inaugural session set the stage and featured several key government officials. Malawi's Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development Peter Mwanza officially launched the conference and emphasized the need to rejuvenate existing links between the three sectors. He was introduced by Erica Maganga, the Secretary for Agriculture and Food Security at Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development.

Rajul Pandya-Lorch, Head of the 2020 Vision Initiative at IFPRI, also gave a keynote speech during the session where she discussed trends and opportunities for strengthening the linkages.

Day two of the event focused on steps for implementation, specifically learning from case studies, acting on the existing political will, and identifying and using "drivers" to push for action on sectorally linked policies. Some key priorities that emerged include greater nutritional advocacy, the need for more services that link relevant, targeted research and technology to smallholder farmers, and the need to increase the visibility and integration of nutrition in the major agricultural strategy, the ASWAp.

Speakers’ presentations and summary notes will be available shortly on the Malawi conference website!