The NEPAD Agency and Malawi’s Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Welfare of Malawi with support from the Norwegian Agency for Development (NORAD) has been holding discussions in the Malawian commercial capital Lilongwe on support to the country’s Gender Climate Change Agriculture. The objective was to support the Government of Malawi develop a national programme document for implementation of the programme.
Support falls under the NEPAD Gender Climate Change Agriculture Support Programme (GCCASP) which is at an inception phase and will fully take off in 2015. The Programme will be implemented in Rwanda, Niger, Malawi, Ethiopia and Cameroon with more countries expected to benefit when resources become available.
The Programme will assist small-holder women farmers to address the challenges posed by climate change. The meeting in Malawi was attended by the Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Welfare, and representatives of from the Agriculture and Environment Ministries, women farmers, non-governmental organisations, development partners, researchers and the academia.
NEPAD’s Head of the Division of Programme Implementation and Coordination, Mr Mohamed Abdisalam said that the GCCASP approach is multi-sectoral as there is a nexus between climate, agriculture and gender.
“Therefore, to address such nexus it is necessary to setup a multi-disciplinary team from different government departments and other stakeholders to jointly validate areas of intervention and develop common platform to craft Malawi’s specific Programme,” said Mr Abdisalam.
The Principal Secretary at Malawi’s Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Affairs, Mrs Mary Shawa a underscored the need to do more so that solutions are tangible and sustainable. She also called for investment plans on Gender, smart-Agriculture and Climate Change.
Mrs Shawa said: “Malawi recognises the importance of Gender, Climate Change and Agriculture. That is why we have a Ministry responsible for Gender issues and one for climate change. My Ministry of Gender is ready to shoulder the responsibility of the project.”
The Norway’s Ambassador to Malawi, Mr Asbjorn Eidhammer indicated that the Norwegian Government has funded the design and inception of NEPAD’s Gender and Climate Change Agriculture Support Programme to ensure important knowledge on climate adaptation is made accessible to women farmers. Mr Eidhammer said that Investments in gender issues represent a major step forward for more equal and equitable relations between men and women, greater adaptation to climate change, better food and nutrition security, and a more profitable agricultural sector.