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Government challenges GBI to produce 1 million tonnes of maize, beans

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The Malawi government has given the Green Belt Initiative (GBI) to produce at least one million tonnes of maize and beans through irrigation in the 2016 winter cropping season as one way of supporting the recovery of the economy.

The government also plans to contract commercial companies and farmers to produce more maize and food crops for the country, according to finance minister Goodall Gondwe.

“The government is positioning itself for natural disasters that could once again occur this growing season,” said Gondwe.

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He said the Greenbelt Belt Initiative is expected to prepare a double cycle of maize production for the production of the maize and beans.

He said a US$60 million loan from Indian government will finance the venture by the GBI – which is now a public trust.

Gondwe said through the Ministry of Industry and Trade, government has already secured export markets of legumes.

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World Bank country manager, Laura Kullenburg, said the bank is also funding the rolling out of a large scale irrigation project in the Lower Shire that will make thousands of small scale farmers to irrigate thousands of hectares.

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