Malawi Agriculture officials conduct study tour in India

Dr. Wilfred Lipita, Controller of Agriculture and Research leader of the delegation interacting with officials of USAID and Ministry of Agriculture at the reception organised in honour of the Malawi delegation during their study tour in New Delhi, India

An eight man delegation of agriculture experts from Malawi arrived in India on Saturday 22 February 2014 to learn from India's best practices in agriculture. The delegation was hosted by the National Institute of Agricultural Extension Management (MANAGE), in Hyderabad.

The delegation comprised: Dr. Wilfred Lipita, Controller of Agriculture Extension and Technical Services and team leader; Dr. Bernard Chimera, Director of Animal Health and Livestock Development; Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security;    Dr. Alfred Mtukuso, Director of Agriculture Research Services, Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security; Ms Stella Kankwamba, Director of Agricultural Extension Services, Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security; Dr. Godfrey Ching’oma, Director of Crop Development, Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security; Dr. Charles Masangano, Senior Lecturer and Head of Extension, Bunda College of Agriculture; Mr. Prince Kapondaminga, Chief Executive Officer, Farmers Union of Malawi; Mr. Martin Banda, Programme Development Specialist, United States Agency for International Development(USAID), Malawi.

The delegation held discussions with officials of the Ministry of Agriculture, and the Indian Council of Agricultural Research(ICAR) in Krishi Bhawan; and USAID, in New Delhi. 

Whilst in New Delhi the delegation was hosted to a reception organised by the USAID/India Acting Mission Director Ms. Kathryn Stevens at her residence in New Delhi. Speaking at the reception Captain Lewis Mbilizi, Deputy High Commissioner, Malawi High Commission thanked USAID and the Government of India through MANAGE for facilitating the study tour. Also making his remarks at the reception, the leader of delegation, Dr. Wilfred Lipita, Controller of Agriculture Extension and Technical Services echoed the Deputy High Commissioner sentiments. He thanked the organizers of the visit for a comprehensive programme which he observed would maximize lessons that would be learnt from India.

From New Delhi the delegation travelled to Punjab where they visited the Punjab Agricultural University; and the Central Institute of Post Harvest Engineering and Technology (CIPHET) in Ludhiana. In Gujarat the delegation visited the Anand Agriculture University and held meetings with the National Dairy Development Board (NDDB; and the Anand Milk Union Limited (AMUL). The delegation then proceeded to Pune where they visited the Abhinav Farmers' Club; the Horticulture Training Centre; the Hiware Bazar; and were later briefed on the innovations programmes being implemented under the Agricultural Technology Management Agency (ATMA).

The final leg of the tour saw the delegation moving back to Hyderabad where they visited the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid-Tropics (ICRISAT); and the Krishi Vigyan Kendra; the Central Research Institute for Dry land Agriculture (KVK CRIDA); the Precision Farming and Producers Company; the Information Communication Technology (ICT) Agriculture centre and the Kisan Call Centre; the National Fisheries Development Board; and the Farm Mechanization Unit.

The delegation retuned to Malawi on 8 March, 2014 after a successful study tour. Speaking at the end of the visit, the leader of the delegation, Dr. Lipita said the visit was very fruitful for the delegation. He thanked the officials of MANAGE, USAID and the Malawi High Commission for facilitating the tour