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ATI Annual Summits

Each year, the Foundation’s Agricultural Transformation Initiative (ATI) will hold an Agricultural Transformation Summit in Malawi to discuss efforts to develop and diversify Malawi’s tobacco-dominated economy, leading to a reduction in traditional reliance on the tobacco sector. The Summit will convene key private and public sector actors engaged in developing alternative livelihoods and commercially viable agricultural value chains in Malawi. The intent is to catalyze new partnerships and initiatives that will support smallholder farmers in diversifying crop production and in improving economic opportunity, thus leading to sustainable change.

Our next Summit will be held in Lilongwe at the end of 2019. Details will be published on this site as soon as they are available.

Interested in future Summits? Sign up for our newsletter and stay updated with our ATI LinkedIn page!

2018 Summit

Malawi Country Director Candida Nakhumwa, Tobacco Association of Malawi (TAMA) CEO Felix Thole, National Smallholder Farmers’ Association of Malawi (NASFAM) CEO Betty Chinyamunyamu, Farmers Union of Malawi (FUM) CEO Prince Kapondamgaga, and Fraym Senior Data Analyst Melia Ungson

On December 4-5, 2018, we met with over 150 delegates from across the public and private sectors and held an engaging discussion to help chart an action-oriented way forward to assist in the transformation of Malawi’s agricultural landscape. Key stakeholders from the farming sector, including smallholder farmers and tobacco leaf companies; the private sector; the government; banks; investment advisors; universities; and many more, focused on exciting in-country diversification efforts.

To learn more about the conference, you can review the following resources:

We also announced the following initiatives:

  • The Center for Agricultural Transformation
    An agricultural Center of Excellence in Malawi, focused on science, technology, and innovation, as well as business incubation and commercialization.
  • The Investment Support Facility
    A technical facility with the mandate to facilitate access to capital from local and international investors for agri-businesses of different sizes.
  • Agri-preneur Pitch Competition
    Four youth in agri-business, or “agri-prenuers,” had the chance to showcase their work and passion for the sector and compete for awards. You can find their pitch videos on our website under “Agriculture & Livelihoods.”
  • The 2nd Round of Agricultural Transformation Requests for Proposals (RFPs)
    A multimillion-dollar facility to provide grant funding for commercially driven concepts that have the potential to transform smallholder farmers’ livelihoods.
  • Digital Financial Services (DFS) for Smallholders Challenge Fund RFP
    Announcement of a DFS Challenge Fund RFP focused on incentivizing the fintech sector to test innovative models for reaching smallholder farmers.
  • LUANAR Scholarship Announcements
    Announcement of a pilot scholarship fund in partnership with Rotary International.

Various Photos from the 2018 Summit:

Gift & Martha Lowole, tobacco farmers who are trying to diversify to other livelihoods, interacting with Foundation for a Smoke-Free World (FSFW) President Derek Yach

Bisan Habu, Keynote speaker Ani Bassey-Eyo, MC Femi Oke, and Eveline Sibindi Van Dam

Director of Agriculture and Economic Diversification Programs Rob Henning, Youth Pitch Competition winner Ngabaghila Chatata and her husband, and Vice President of Agriculture & Livelihoods Jim Lutzweiler

Participants enjoy happy hour after the conference

Vice President of Agriculture & Livelihoods Jim Lutzweiler, Controller of Agriculture Services in the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development Alexander Bulirani, FSFW President Derek Yach, Malawi Country Director Candida Nakhumwa, and Chairman of the Malawi Planning Commission Richard Mkandawire

panel discussion

Participants at the Summit prepare for a panel discussion.

three attendees having a conversation

Stellenbosch University Distinguished Professor Linus Opara, National Smallholder Farmers’ Association of Malawi (NASFAM) CEO Betty Chinyamunyamu, and the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa’s Abdulrazak Ibrahim