Established in 2006, AGRA is an African-led and Africa-based institution that puts smallholder farmers at the center of the continent’s growing economy by transforming agriculture from a solitary struggle to survive into farming as a business that thrives. Together with our partners, we are working to sustainably grow Africa’s food systems. AGRA strengthens seed systems, develops and promotes sustainable farming practices, helps unlock trade and markets, and supports governments who lead their countries’ development. We work with farmers to adapt to climate change, increase soil health, and protect the environment. AGRA believes deeply in the urgency of reducing the inequality that women face in agriculture, and to unlocking the power and innovation of youth.

Country/Region or Unit Strategy of AGRA AGRA Strategy 3.0:

AGRA Malawi’s strategy 3.0 (2023 – 2027) entry point is “Advancing sustainable productivity and diversification through Inclusive Markets and Trade” with the goal: “To catalyze an inclusive agri-food system of Malawi through a competitive market and trade system that drives farmer productivity, resilience and dignified and fulfilling work opportunities particularly for youth/women and vulnerable people. AGRA Malawi strategy 3.0 interventions focus is around Inclusive Markets and Trade (IMT), sustainable farming (SF), policy and state capability (PSC), Seed systems, and on cross-cutting issues of Climate Change and adaption, nutrition, and inclusivity of Women & Youth/Young women and men. The Malawi strategy aims at strengthening the ecosystem that enables growth of local and regional markets which in turn cause an increase in sustainable productivity of smallholder farmers. This will in turn generate dignified and fulfilling work opportunities for young women and men, through meaningful engagement in agribusinesses and high potential agriculture value-chains including incubation of new agri-business and digital technology start-ups for agri-food systems transformation. The strategy will achieve the stated goal by intentionally addressing agriculture system blockages preventing growth of the sector. To do this, the Malawi strategy will use a market system approach to deliver transformational systems change that enhances the capacity of youth micro-entrepreneurs, and the productivity and resilience of young farmers through farming as a business (FAAB). To accelerate productivity gains, and build resilience. It will also support the government to create an enabling environment for dignified and fulfilling work opportunities and strengthening platforms for effective youth participation and inclusive decision making in policy processes and innovative solutions while incorporating the voice of young men and women operating agribusinesses. Outcomes: The country program strategy will focus on three outcome areas with Inclusive Finance as a cross cutting theme as follows: a).

Outcome 1: Expanding and diversifying inclusive markets and trade for youth and women run MSMEs b). Outcome 2: Improving sustainable access to inputs (High quality climate resilient and nutrient dense seeds/crop varieties and fertilizer) for increased agricultural productivity for young farmers, particularly young women. c). Outcome 3: Improving coordination and policy for youth engagement (Strengthened formal and informal gender and youth support institutions d). Outcome 4: Support an enabling environment and inclusive environment that promotes job creation for vulnerable groups, especially youth and women As part of the design process, the Malawi country teams conducted extensive stakeholder consultations, including with representatives of the young women and young men who will be the target group of the Malawi program strategy. The youth consulted validated the constraints identified earlier when designing the Ministry of Agriculture Youth and Women in Agriculture flagship as well as the AGRA-MCF Partnership initiative. They provided additional information on the issues they considered most important to address. Key challenges faced by young men and women agri-food entrepreneurs – Partners perspectives. • Lack of awareness amongst youth of viable opportunities in agriculture, • Lack of entrepreneurial skills to build agribusiness enterprises, • Limited access to land, • Limited access to affordable finance, • Limited access to seeds, sustainable markets, including the market information needed to exploit market opportunities.