By AGRA Content Hub

  • The launch was led by the honorable Minister for Agriculture, Lobin Lowe, MP and AGRA Board Chair, H.E. Hailemariam Dessalegn
  • 65 guests attended physically, against the 40 that had been expected; a further 93 participated virtually

LILONGWE, Malawi: August 5, 2022 – Stakeholders in Malawi’s agriculture sector, including government representatives and private players, on Wednesday August 3, 2022 gathered in the country’s capital, Lilongwe, to launch the Malawi Agribusiness Dealroom.

Organized by the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture and the Malawi Investment and Trade Center, the Malawi Agribusiness Dealroom will provide a platform for players in the country’s agriculture sector to collate their business proposals for presentation at the AGRF Summit, which takes place in Kigali, Rwanda from September 6 – 9, 2022. 

The launch was attended by Malawi’s agriculture minister, Honorable Lobin Lowe MP who was guest of honor, and H.E. Hailemariam Dessalegn, the former Prime Minister of Ethiopia and current Board Chair of the alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) and AGRF Partners Group.   

Hon. Lowe, noted that despite the unprecedented challenges that Malawi’s agriculture sector is facing – including the Covid pandemic and climate change – there were numerous opportunities for investment in the country. He invited investors of all capacities to the sector, with the promise of adequate support from his ministry. 

“My ministry is championing several policy reforms all meant to create a conducive environment for the business of agriculture. The ministry is also implementing the Affordable Inputs Program which will ensure that smallholder farmers access inputs to increase productivity,” he said. 

The minister also presented the preliminary design of his government’s “Mega-Farms” concept, for which investment is now open. The project is an initiative of H.E. President Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera, who seeks to introduce mega farms across the country to lead the agricultural commercialization plans for making his country food secure. 

The Mega Farms are envisioned as large-scale farms run as a collaboration between private investors and the government to produce critical agricultural products, but to also serve as centers of excellence for agronomy and innovation, and providing outreach services to communities around them.   

H.E. Dessalegn commended H.E. President Lazarus Chakwera’s leadership in the commitment to the country’s agricultural transformation agenda as well as articulation of Malawi’s food system pathways in line with the country’s Malawi 2030 Agenda evident in the appointment of the Minister of Agriculture to be the national convener and champion for food systems transformation.

In addition, the Board Chair reiterated AGRA’s commitment towards supporting food systems transformation interventions, while highlighting the multifaceted challenges facing Africa and indeed Malawi that require systematic approaches, hence, the emphasis on food systems approaches with the theme of this year’s AGRF Summit, ‘Bold Actions for Resilient Food Systems.’

“‘There is an opportunity to reflect on the coordinated and bold action by leaders, institutions, investors, coalitions and individuals towards translating our commitments highlighted in our different strategies to action and progress on the ground,’ he said. 

The 158 guests (65 physical, and 93 virtual) at the launch agreed that Malawi is ripe with numerous opportunities that require bold and coordinated action.With a population of over 20 million and sitting on 3.6m Hectares of arable land, Lake Malawi that stretches across most of the country, Malawi has enormous potential to feed itself and Africa (World Bank, 2018).

Note to editors:

About AGRA

AGRA is a farmer-centered, African-led, partnerships-driven institution that is working to transform smallholder farming from a solitary struggle to survive to a business that thrives. In collaboration with its partners—including African governments, researchers, development partners, the private sector and civil society— AGRA’s work primarily focuses on smallholder farmers – men and women who typically cultivate staple crops on two hectares or less. AGRA is now recognized across the continent as a strong voice for African rural development, a prosperous agricultural economy, and for supporting thousands of small African businesses and millions of African families to improve agriculture as a way of ensuring food security and transforming their livelihoods.

More information ; Rebecca; Sophie L Chitedze, 

About the AGRF

The AGRF is an annual gathering that convenes top leaders, thinkers and implementers in African agriculture across private, public, development and non-profit partners, and academic and research sectors. The AGRF seeks explicitly to draw these stakeholders around a common purpose – to unleash the full potential of Africa’s millions of smallholder farmers and their families who earn their livelihoods from small-scale farms and provide about 80% of the food and agricultural products consumed across the continent. 

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