World Bank has approved a huge US$265m which is about MK265 billion for scaling up of Agriculture commercialization.
In a statement which the Bank has released part of the money is to improve food security.
According to the statement, Malawi is set to establish new six irrigation schemes, support an additional 560 productive alliances that target more than 112,000 households, and work with smallholder farmers to execute productivity-enhancing investments with support of a US$250 million grant from the International Development Association (IDA) and a US$15 million grant from the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program that was approved by World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors.
“The new financing is part of Phase 3 of the regional Food Systems Resilience Program (FSRP) for Eastern and Southern Africa. The regional program has an overall envelope of US$2.75 billion and aims to increase the resilience of food systems and preparedness for food insecurity in the participating countries,” reads the statement in part.
According to the statement, the financing will provide a platform for cooperation and cross-learning along a number of pillars which includes rebuilding agricultural productive capacity, better managing natural resources, getting to markets and improving national and regional policies to enhance resilience.
“The program will scale up many of the successful interventions and approaches of Malawi’s Agricultural Commercialization Project (AGCOM) as a means of enhancing national and regional food systems resilience.
“It will also introduce new elements, including climate-smart agriculture and irrigation systems, investments in research and extension services, as well as support to the authorities to implement resilience-enhancing policy reforms,” reads the statement further.
World Bank believes that AGCOM is delivering on Malawi’s Vision 2063’s core goal of agricultural transformation.
“We are therefore excited that, with support from the FSRP, Malawi has an opportunity to scale this intervention nationally and collaborate and learn how to tackle food systems resilience with the other participating countries in the region. Developing viable and sustainable value chains is key to national food security, as well as boosting foreign exchange for the country’s broader economic needs,” says Hugh Riddell, World Bank
Country Manager for Malawi.
According to the statement the project in Malawi will also prioritize building climate-resilient infrastructure that is designed and built in a way that anticipates, prepares for, and adapts to changing climate conditions since Malawi currently depends largely on rain-fed agriculture.
Meanwhile Minister of Agriculture Sam Kawale has commended World Bank for the funding.
“Agriculture is the mainstay of Malawi’s economy and any investments made in this sector have a multiplier effect towards the country’s economic transformation and general improvements in the livelihoods of our people, including strengthening food security.
“With lessons learnt from AGCOM, we expect the scaling up of some interventions within the new project will likely have a great impact on the overall economy,” says Sam Kawale.
As a matter of background, FSRP for Eastern and Southern Africa has already committed close to $1.7 billion in the first three phases of its program.
Comoros, Ethiopia, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Somalia and Tanzania are being joined by the African Union Commission (AUC), the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and the Center for Coordination of Agricultural Research and Development for Southern Africa (CCARDESA), to help facilitate learning and action across borders. More countries are expected to join.