LUANAR : Innovation Hub Donates ‘starter funds’ to Four Lilongwe Urban City Markets
As part of its continued engagement and outreach activities, the Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources-Michigan State University Innovation Hub based at LUANAR-Bunda Campus recently donated funds amounting to $2905, an equivalent of MK2,106,125.00 and MK526,531.25 to each of four Lilongwe urban City urban Food Markets namely Lilongwe Central Market, Area 47 Bwandilo Market, Area25A market and Lizulu-Tsoka Market.
The handover ceremony, which took place at Lizulu-Tsoka Market in Lilongwe, was presided over by Dr Andy Safalaoh, the Innovation Hub Coordinator. The Lilongwe City assembly was represented by Mr Hajj Milambe who is the Chief Marketing Manager.
Speaking at the event, Dr Safalaoh said that the funds were handed to the markets after joint effort in processing it whereby each market had to provide proper documentation on how the money will be utilised and upon agreement with market vendors at each market.
“This money is from the people of America and was facilitated by Dr Stephanie White who leads the Frugal Innovation Practicum through MSU CrowdPower ($1485); Schoenl Family Undergraduate Grants for Dire Needs Overseas-received by Trish Abalo($1200); MSU Kiwanis chapter ($200). Noteworthy, one LUANAR and Frugal Innovation Practicum 1 alumnus, Ms Flora Shonga donated $20’, said Dr Safalaoh.
Dr Safalaoh also reminded the market representatives that “These funds are allocated to each of your market committees to implement projects that were identified during the 2016 Frugal Innovation Practicum; amid ululation and smiles from the market representatives. ‘I therefore urge to use the funds for its intended purpose and in a transparent manner,” implored Safalaoh.
The initiative falls under a collaboration between Global Center for Food Systems Innovation (GCFSI) at Michigan State University (MSU) in collaboration LUANAR whereby they are piloting an innovative experiential learning course that focuses on building skills in collaborative community engagement in the context of urban food exchange and provisioning in Lilongwe.
Through this, Students from MSU and LUANAR work together to engage small- to medium-scaled food entrepreneurs to identify, articulate, and propose appropriate (or frugal) solutions to common problems in urban markets, which, if properly addressed, would allow improved livelihoods and/or food security.
Written By: Patricia Nkhoma