APRA Malawi successfully engages with the media

An engagement and training workshop held with the media in Malawi in 2019 has led to extensive coverage across online media, social media, radio, TV and newspapers.

On 31st August 2019, APRA Malawi held a one-day workshop with around 22 print and online journalists, especially members of the Agricultural Journalists Association. The aim of the workshop was to create awareness of the APRA Malawi project to explain its scope and describe its expected outcomes. This is part of influencing impact pathways for policy dissemination and uptake from the research project, where communication is an integral component for changes within agricultural commercialisation to be successful. Journalists who can converse with their audience on issues affecting the agricultural sector will play an important role in the future. If they are able to utilise a political economy perspective, then they can articulate the enablers and constrainers of commercialisation dynamics effectively.

Contents of the workshop included presentations that stimulated discussion about Malawi’s experience with commercialisation, focusing on an overview of the agricultural sector, policy influence and engagement, and how to coherently communicate agricultural research. Through this interaction APRA Malawi has established a relationship with the media, allowing the team to amplify and systematically communicate project outcomes to farmers and policymakers.

The workshop proved to be very successful with coverage across various media including:

Following visibility created by the journalist meeting, APRA Malawi were also invited into national policy dialogue forums. For example, a presentation was made at the National Youth Network on Climate Change conference Getting a place on the table: Youth and Agriculture in Malawi by Blessings Chinsinga on 24-26 September, 2019. The presentation encouraged debates about commercialisation of agriculture in Malawi and the role of the youth to take agribusiness opportunities.