SRUC staff member wins national special achievement award for Dumfries Malawi links.

7 Apr 2015

SRUC Staff Member Wins National Special Achievement Award for Dumfries Malawi links

Dr Mizeck Chagunda, of Scotland's Rural College (SRUC), Dumfries, has won the SPECIAL ACHIEVEMENT AWARD in the Malawi Association UK's annual Malawi Achievers Awards Ceremony in Leicester for his work championing links with Malawi in the Dumfries area.

Dr Mizeck Chagunda, a leading dairy farming expert based in Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) has been awarded a prestigious national achievement award from the Malawi Association UK, recognising his services to the special Scotland-Malawi relationship.

Scotland has a 150 year old friendship with Malawi, dating back to the travels of Dr David Livingstone. Today, more than 94,000 Scots have active links to Malawi each year, and more than 46% of Scots know someone with a Malawi connection. The bilateral relationship is celebrated as a people-to-people connection, in which both sides contribute and both sides benefit.

Through the SRUC, Dr Chagunda has been responsible for various ground-breaking dairy farming collaborations with Malawi. Through these new partnerships dairy farming has been greatly strengthened in Malawi, with increased yield and improved production systems, resulting in more sustainable livelihoods and improved food security.

Dr Chagunda has also played a leading role in coordinating local Malawi activities in the Dumfries area. In 2014 Dr Mizeck and his colleagues in the SRUC organised a special day of activities to mark the bicentenary of the birth of David Livingstone in which hundreds of pupils from four local schools visited the SRUC and learned about the historic links with Malawi.

Dr Chagunda is also a volunteer Trustee of the Scotland Malawi Partnership, the national agency coordinating, representing and supporting the many civic links between Scotland and Malawi.

Rev Prof Kenneth Ross, Chair of the Scotland Malawi Partnership, said:
"We are delighted to see Dr Chagunda's work recognized in this way. He has made a unique contribution to the Scotland-Malawi relationship.

"His work at the SRUC has resulted in a number of world-class collaborations with Bunda College in Malawi which have helped significantly strengthen dairy farming in both Malawi and Scotland. He has also helped inspire a number of new and exciting links around the Dumfries area including with a number of local schools and community groups.

"In addition, he has been a key figure in developing the Scotland Malawi Partnership where he serves as a member of the Board."