World bank approved K69billion to boat Malawi in agriculture

The World Bank board last week approved K69 Billion ($95 million) to boost Malawi’s agriculture commercialization expected to support 70,000 farmers and 300 producer organizations.
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According to a statement from the Bank, with the $95 million credit for the Agriculture Commercialization Project (AGCOM), Malawi has an opportunity to boost the quality and quantity of various agricultural products for domestic and export markets.
It stated that the project will create a conducive environment for farmers and agro-businesses to operate in, support last-mile infrastructure such as feeder, roads and electricity, agro-business reforms and strengthening the warehouse receipt system in Malawi.
Beneficiaries of the project are various value chain actors, including producers (farmers and farmer producer organizations), buyers (processors, retailers, exporters, and aggregators), and financial institutions that will be lending to the agribusiness sector in the country.
The release which quoted the Bank’s Task Team Leader for AGCOM Valens Mwumvaneza said the funding will ensure that youth and women are well represented in its interventions hence giving national coverage.
“We expect this project to catalyze and strengthen the role of commercial agriculture in turning around Malawi’s economic fortunes.”
“The project will help develop Malawi’s productive base of farm and agribusiness products to foster export competitiveness and economic empowerment.” said Mwumvaneza.
It further pointed out that a major activity of the project is to help establish productive alliances between producer organizations (POs), other value chain actors and product off-takers.
The capacity of the POs and other value chain actors will be built through technical assistance and matching grants to produce the quality and quantity required by the identified off-takers and strengthen the POs to meet market required standards and norms.
AGCOM will also support the creation of business enabling services by improving access to finance, standards and certification, and trade facilitation.
The project, whose funding is from the Bank’s International Development Association (IDA) is expected to close in 2023 and will be implemented under the joint leadership of the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development and the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism.