By Eunice Ndhlovu. October 11, 2017. MBC Malawi.
The Regional Network of Agriculture Policy Research Institutes (ReNAPRI) says there is need to assess the country’s competitiveness in production and trade of various commodities to ensure that farmers get prices that benefit their work.
Professor Ferdi Meyer, from the faculty of Natural and Agriculture Science at the University of Pretoria, made the remarks at LUANAR in Lilongwe when he opened training on partial equilibrium model that is used to develop commodity outlooks.
Meyer said the outlook will help to forecast what needs to be done in terms of demand and supply of commodities on the market so that farmers have the capacity to continue producing even after prices slump on the market.
“It is a very practical approach where real purpose of it is to develop a tool that policy makers and stakeholders of the industry can use to project fundamental prices of the commodity going through the future like production, consumption trade and prices,” said Prof. Meyer.
He said the model is set to capture into the regional trade flaws and dynamics within the markets. Meyer said if the region experienced drought the model will be able to focus on the implications of production against the prices, prepare the country for the shock and predict what farmers can gain at the end of the day.
Chief of party for the new policy alliance acceleration support (NAPAS) Flora Nankhuni says this modeling will help to see the best it can do to protect producers in different situations of the economy. NAPAS which has been working with the Ministry of Agriculture to enhance policy formulation especially those in agriculture has been in the fore front in advocating for such a tool in the country.
“The modeling will inform the government of where the economy is going on the different crops that farmers are producing. For example in Malawi they had predicted that with the drought that happened in 2015/16 growing season prices of maize will go high as 60 percent fortunately it was at 55%,” said Nankhuni.
She said the modeling will look at a scenario and predict if the effect will be positive or negative so that government can plan properly.
The workshop brought together stakeholders from, Ministry of Finance, Malawi Revenue Authority, National Statistics Office and other government and private agencies.
The training was conducted by Centre for Agriculture Research and Development (CARD), a research centre for LUANAR, in collaboration with the Bureau of Food and Agriculture Policy (BFAP) of the University of Pretoria in South Africa and Food and Agriculture Policy Research Institute (FAPRI) of the University of Missouri in USA.