Crop Development

Profile of the Department of the Crop development

Vision  Strategies

The Department is fighting against enormous and formidable challenges in order to achieve its objectives. Hence, there is need for creativity, innovativeness and industriousness in adapting and disseminating crop production technologies and provision of technical services in order to meet the increasing demand for food and cash by all households in the country. It is against this background that the Department adopted the following vision:

“Malawi with diversified crop production and sustainable crop production and productivity”

Mission

The department of Crop Development in the ministry is commissioned to:

‘Promoting appropriate crop production technologies and providing crop production technical services in order to achieve household and national food security, increased crop-based incomes, and foreign exchange earnings and import substitution’.

 Mandate

The mandate of Crop Development Department in the Ministry is to address the knowledge gap at frontline extension workers level and specialized crop based farmer organizations; and provide crop production technical services in order to enhance effective diffusion of technologies released by the Agricultural Technology Clearing Committee (ATCC) and provide services for farm mechanisation, migratory pest control and seed certification.

 Goal

The department has an overall goal of contributing towards sustainable and diversified crop production and productivity.

 Objectives

Based on the SWOT analysis the department strategically developed objectives in order to achieve its goals and vision. The objectives include:

  • To increase the supply of improved planting materials to smallholder farmers,
  • To reduce pre and post harvest crop losses,
  • To improve access and use of improved and recommended farm inputs,
  • To intensify irrigated crop production,
  • To promote diversified crop production in suitable areas,
  • To coordinate agricultural production survey,
  • To promote crop enterprise mechanisation and agro-processing,
  • To reduce drudgery of farm operations, and

To improve capacity of the department in services delivery.

Technical Sections within the Department

The department implements activities through the following technical sections:

 a) Farm mechanization

Farm mechanization aims at reducing drudgery of farm work in the country comprises two schemes namely

  • Tractor Hire
  • Oxenisation

These two schemes are geared towards overcoming challenges encountered with the use of hand tools and implements in land preparation.

The Vision of the Department on Farm Mechanization

Increased land and labour productivity through:

  • Increasing the number of tractors so that on average each District should have a tractor.
  • Procuring processing equipment (i.e. cassava starch machines, graters, slicers, oil presses, fruit juice extractors, shellers, threshers etc) for hire.
  • Procuring hand planters for demonstrations in all ADDs.
  • Establishing/reviving ownership scheme for work oxen and ox-drawn implements- These farmers should in turn serve others in their areas.
  • Strengthening capacity of EPAs in ox-training.
  • Exploring the use of donkeys in ox-cart pulling in order to minimise losses in draught power due to theft and slaughters.

 Tractor Hire Scheme

Current Status Inventory

  • 90 Tractors
  • 92 Ploughs
  • 74 Harrows
  • 60 Ridgers
  • 49 Trailers

The department implemented activities with underlying principles of Government’s development strategy as stipulated and aligned in Agricultural Sector Wide Approach (ASWAP) and Malawi Growth and Development Strategy (MGDS).  The strategies included:

  • Provide technical information and train extension workers and other stakeholders on improved crop management technologies,
  • In liaison with research under take on-farm demonstrations and trials to fine tune indigenous farmer technologies and those developed by research,
  • Promote seed multiplication programmes and establishment of community seed banks,
  • Promote proper handling and processing of field and horticultural crops to add value and prolong shelf life,
  • Promote production of promising crops in non traditional growing areas
  • Promote proper storage of field and horticultural crops through community grain banks and improved storage structures,
  • Strengthen surveillance, monitoring and control of crop pest outbreaks by use of armyworm traps, stocking migratory pesticides and spraying equipment,
  • Promote gender and HIV/AIDS mainstreaming in crop development activities,
  • Initiate and conduct crop production estimates in order to establish crop production levels,
  • Increase farmers access to improved seed and fertilizers through FISP
  • Increase farmers access to oxenisation and tractor hire service by creating a hiring scheme, and
  • Develop well articulated project proposals and work plans and budgets.
  • View Organisational Structure

 

An operator busy ploughing with his Mahindra tractor in one of the client

 

The department has established a horticulture demonstration centre at Natural Resources College to train both staff and farmers.

 

 

Connect with Us

  • Ministry of Agriculture Headquarters,
  • P.O. Box 30134, Lilongwe 3
  • Phone: +265 (0) 1 788 738
  • Fax: +265 (0) 1 788 908
  • Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Physical Location: Ministry of Agriculture Headquarters Building, Capital Hill, Lilongwe.