Malawian Minister for Agriculture visits Flanders
On 5 and 6 March, Minister-president Geert Bourgeois received the minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development of Malawi, Joseph Mwanamvekha in Flanders, following the Minister-president’s visit to Malawi in August 2017. Minister-president Bourgeois and minister Mwanamvekha jointly visited the REO horticulture auction in Roeselare.
With this visit, minister Mwanamvekha wants to further develop his understanding of the organization of the agricultural sector in Flanders. In Malawi, currently only tobacco is traded through auctions. A similar system could also be developed for the purchase and sale of fruit and vegetables, and will enable the development of a market for fruit and vegetable producers. “We have experience with auctions in tobacco and tea. But we don’t have any organization of this kind for our vegetables. We can learn a lot from what we see here,” said minister Mwanamvekha.
The minister will also visit the farmers’ union Boerenbond in Roeselare, the Research Institute for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food and the banana gene bank at the KU Leuven. On Wednesday 7 March, minister Mwanamvekha will meet minister of Agriculture Joke Schauvliege who will present the Flemish agricultural policy and explain the role of government in the development of the agricultural sector in Flanders.
Malawi is one of Flanders’ three partner countries for development cooperation. The cooperation in Malawi is focused on agriculture, specifically to support high-quality and accessible agricultural extension, sustainable production and commercialization of production.