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Vision: To be a leading Network that effectively coordinates and fosters collaboration among non-state actors towards Malawi’s agricultural transformation.

Mission: Promote agricultural development and sustainable livelihoods for the rural poor by influencing desired change in policies, practices and attitudes of Government, donors, civil society and other stakeholders through effective and results focused advocacy, research and Networking.

Core Values: 

  1. Inclusiveness,
  2. Transparency,
  3. Accountability,
  4. Integrity,
  5. Independence,
  6. Sustainability and,
  7. Pro-poor.


Strategic Priorities: To effectively coordinate the Network, the CISANET secretariat will focus on five key strategic priorities as outlined below:

  1. Mutual Accountability and Transparency in the Agriculture Sector
  2. Capacity Building and Organization Development
  3. Policy Research and Analysis
  4. Monitoring, Evaluation, Learning, and Sharing
  5. Communication, Networking, and Member Engagement

Thematic Areas: As a Network, CISANET’s advocacy strategy will concentrate on the following thematic areas:

  1. Access to Profitable Markets
  2. Livestock, Aquaculture, and Dairy Development
  3. Resilient and Nutrition Smart Agriculture


The new Strategic Plan aims at transforming CISANET towards an evidence based, results focused, accountable, and impactful Network that is fit for purpose. In response to feedback from stakeholders on the role of CISANET, the strategic plan represents a shift from CISANET’s role as an NGO that just implements projects similar to its Network members; to a coordinating body of civil society organizations within its Network.  Thus, the key role of CISANET will be to enhance the collaboration of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) towards their contribution to the National Agriculture Policy (NAP) and National Agriculture Investment Plan (NAIP). The strategic plan will guide the definition of themes, the areas of focus and the allocation of financial, human, and leadership resources.  The development of the strategic plan signals the Network’s determination to apply more focus and rigor, through outcomes orientation, to its investments and clearly link its investments to the envisioned achievements of the NAP and NAIP.


The NAP and the NAIP provide a clear and comprehensive policy guidance for agriculture development in Malawi, and aim at addressing the current challenges that make meaningful agricultural development difficult. The policy provides the relevant guidance for all sector players for effecting increased production, productivity and real farm incomes. Notwithstanding, over the years, existence of agriculture related policies has not guaranteed the development of the sector.  Malawi Government has consistently exceeded the Comprehensive African Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) recommendation of allocating at least 10% of the national budget towards the agriculture sector for the past five Financial Years (FY), 2013/14 to 2017/18. However, the growth rates in the agriculture sector in Malawi demonstrate a discrepancy between investments made in the sector and the level of growth attained. Attributing factors that hamper the growth of the sector include a mismatch in investment priorities, lack of transparency and accountability on the investments and climate related shocks.



The Civil Society Agriculture Network (CISANET) is a grouping of civil society organizations established in 2001 to facilitate the engagement of the civil society organizations (CSOs) working in the agriculture sector with Government over policy issues affecting the sector. CISANET’s membership comprises local and international Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), farmer organizations and interested individuals. As a Network of organization, CISANET is coordinated by a secretariat that is headed by a National Director who reports to the Board of Trustees that is accountable to the General Assembly of members. CISANET operates both at the national and local levels and also contributes to regional policy advocacy as the Malawi node host for Food and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANPARN) and Comprehensive African Agriculture Development Program Coalition for Non-State Actors (CAADP CNC). At the national level, CISANET operates through thematic groups, while at the district level, CISANET operates through District CSO Networks.


CISANET is registered as an NGO with the NGO Board and is also a member of the Council for Non-Governmental Organizations of Malawi (CONGOMA). The Network was formed to respond to a need that became apparent after the onset of the multiparty democracy in Malawi and also the development of the Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper in 2000, which among others recognized the civil society as a partner of Government for successful implementation of its programs by providing necessary independent checks and balances and also supporting Government in the agriculture sector.


The core mandate of CISANET is to provide leadership among Non-State Actors (NSAs) in agriculture policy analysis and advocacy. The organization provides space for NSAs working or interested in the agriculture sector to constructively engage Government for policy influence focusing at positively impacting agricultural production and productivity, marketing as well as food and nutrition security. CISANET aims at ensuring that NSAs in the agriculture sector have a voice and are able to contribute towards agriculture policy formulation, implementation, monitoring and evaluation. In addition, CISANET aims at providing alternative views as well as checks and balances to Government for increased mutual transparency and accountability in the agriculture sector.  From its establishment, CISANET has been instrumental in the creation of space for NSAs in policy processes both at the local and national level. CISANET is recognized as the voice for NSAs in the agriculture sector. The Network has actively participated in formulation and implementation of agriculture related policies, was instrumental in lobbying for the increase of budgetary allocation to the agriculture sector and is currently focusing on playing an active role in reinforcing mutual accountability.