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King champions nutrition in Malawi

King Letsie III and President Peter Mutharika

June 22, 2018 2 min read

2 min read

His Majesty King Letsie III met up with Malawi President Peter Mutharika in Lilongwe at Kamuzu Palace on Monday where Mr. Mutharika affirmed his government’s commitment to end hunger and malnutrition, which remains high among Malawians especially children. The King is in the Malawi in his capacity as the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) Special Ambassador on Nutrition.

President Mutharika said the fight against hunger and malnutrition requires collective efforts hence the need for all stakeholders to hold hands with government and work together for the benefit of all Malawians. In an effort to eradicate hunger in the country and address malnutrition, government intends to intensify irrigation farming than just relying on rain-fed agriculture, according to the President. “Rain fed agriculture is no longer reliable and we have to look for alternative ways. My government has embarked on a mass irrigation project that will be the largest in Southern Africa,” Mutharika said.

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Addressing the press after an audience with President Mutharika, His Majesty King Letsie III described the visit as great and cordial, saying he had fruitful discussions with the Malawian leader. “Our discussion centred on nutrition. We talked about the strides Malawi has made over the years in nutrition and fighting malnutrition,” King Letsie said.

Among other issues discussed were various strategies that Malawi is using in improving the nutritional status of its people and how Malawi and Lesotho can work together in fighting malnutrition. The King observed that Malawi is doing very well in nutrition and that is why he came in order to learn a few things. According to rankings produced by the United Kingdom Institute of Development Studies in collaboration with the New Partnership for African Development, Malawi is ranked second among 45 African countries that are doing well in fighting malnutrition.

Malawi Minister of Health Atupele Muluzi said the story of country’s success is due to a strong political commitment that ensures that nutrition is put at the centre of policy development. “We’ve managed to bring down stunting from 47% in 2010 to 37% at present. We’ve seen reduction in vitamin A deficiency. We’ve also seen reduction in anaemia,” Muluzi said. The Malawi Growth and Development Strategy (MDGS) III puts nutrition as one of the priority areas of development. Nyasa Times

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