Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development Kondwani Nankhumwa believes that any inclusive growth strategies meant to propel Malawi to economic prosperity should start with agriculture.
According to the minister the sector has made immense contributions towards the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as it provides 90 per cent of export earnings which contributes 30 per cent to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of Malawi.
Nankhumwa revealed this during the launch of Agriculture Commercialisation project (AGCOM) which was held at Bingu International Convention Centre (BICC) recently.
“Let me point out a few important statistics to always bear in mind about this sector; agricultural sector employs over 65 per cent of the total labour force in Malawi, and 70 per cent of agricultural labour force are women. The sector provides about 90% of our export earnings which contributes about 30 per cent to our GDP,” he said.
AGCOM is a nationwide project for six years with a financial loan from the World Bank, and it is aimed at increasing productivity and diversifying both the food and export base of Malawi by targeting all viable value-chains in crops such as legumes, horticulture, livestock and fisheries including aquaculture.
The launch of AGCOM was graced by the presence of the president of Malawi, Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika, who revealed that the project seeks to graduate 650,000 small and medium scale farmers from subsistence to commercial farming.