LILONGWE, April 03, 2021: – The Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), H.E. Hailemariam Dessalegn, former Prime Minister of Ethiopia, today (April 03, 2021) held a meeting with the President of the Republic of Malawi, Dr. Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera, during which he updated the President on AGRA’s successful engagement and support to Malawi’s agriculture sector through the Government of Malawi. He affirmed his commitment of supporting Malawi to transform its economy going forward.
H.E. Dessalegn started by congratulating H.E Dr. Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera on winning the 23rd June 2020 Presidential elections in Malawi.
He continued: “The Affordable Inputs Program (AIP), which your Government launched in 2020, has already reached 3.7 million smallholder farmers who could hardly access fertilizer and improved seed. This is a huge achievement considering the very short period since your Government took charge of state affairs”, he said.
The US$187 million (MwK140.2 billion) AIP was designed to improve agricultural productivity in Malawi by subsidizing the cost of agricultural inputs for the benefit of the country’s farmers. Still in its first year, the AIP, which initially targeted 4.2mn smallholder farming households, allows farmers to, for example, buy a 50kg bag of fertilizer at an affordable US$6 instead of the usual US$25-28.
H.E the Board Chair of AGRA, briefed H.E the President of the Republic of Malawi about his visit to Nkhotakota, Benga where he appreciated the work of a local seed company (Global Seeds) that is being supported by AGRA Malawi. He also saw first hand how the newly developed groundnut varieties of GG 9 and CG 11 which were bred for their rosette resistance trait have been commercialized by smallholder farmers thereby transforming their livelihoods.
The AGRA Board Chair also briefed President Chakwera on the Hub Agro dealer extension and agro-input distribution model through Community Agribusiness Advisors in Nathenje/Lilongwe East. This model facilitates agriculture service delivery to smallholders through women cooperative groups known as Village Banks/Village Savings and Loan Associations (VSLAs).
“The Agro dealer hub model is an engine for facilitating Malawi’s rural transformation. There is need to continue supporting Research institutions to develop better high yielding crop varieties. There is also need to de-risk lending to smallholder farmers and support them to produce three times a year through irrigation. Lake Malawi presents a huge opportunity for irrigation and land does not seem a challenge for the country. Malawi is on the right path towards achieving an inclusive agriculture transformation”, H.E. Dessalegn said.
About AGRA Malawi
AGRA has been operating in Malawi since 2006 but was established as a country office in 2017. All major continental AGRA programmes have been implemented in Malawi, including the Soil Health Programme (SHP), the Programme for Africa’s Seed Systems (PASS), and the Scaling Seeds and Technologies Partnership in Africa (SSTP). Over the years, AGRA has spent more than $23 million in Malawi through grants supporting capacity building, research and development, input production and distribution, agriculture transformation awareness, adoption and production and post-harvest handling. It currently supports Government to develop and implement policies that result in a conducive environment for a private sector- led agriculture transformation; strengthening Government capacity to deliver on its priorities and mandate; strengthening agriculture systems (inputs, financing, markets, mechanization, extension) and working with strategic partnerships to facilitate the alignment of government priorities and private sector interests, improving integration and coordination that lead to investments beneficial to smallholder farmers. AGRA is supported by the Partnership for an Inclusive Agriculture Transformation in Africa: BMGF, USAID, The Rockefeller Foundation, FCDO and BMZ, among others.
For more information, please contact:
Tel: +265 884222008 Email: SChitedze@agra.org Website: www.agra.org