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Agra pumps $279 million in agri revitalisation

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Gracian Lungu

By Imam Wali:

Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (Agra) has been hailed for its interventions in agriculture sector revitalisation drive as it is empowering female and young farmers in the country.

Among other things, the organisation is implementing a 10- year programme worth $279 million aimed at improving participation and engagement of women and the youth in the agriculture value chain.

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Through the programme, Agra will be supporting women and youths to actively and meaningfully engage in high value agriculture value chains.

The programme is covering all 28 districts of the country, reaching almost 426,194 direct beneficiaries spread across the country.

The Ministry of Agriculture has since hailed the project as a game-changer in the agriculture sector.

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Ministry of Agriculture spokesperson Gracian Lungu said attracting the youth and women into the agriculture sector requires appropriate incentives and financing facilities, combined with complementary skills development and mentorship.

“Currently, the ministry has a number of programmes which are aimed at improving the lives of the youth and women to find better markets for their products,” he said.

Agra Country Manager Sophie Chitedze said among their 2022-2027 priorities, the organisation seeks to promote enhanced participation of women and youth-led SMEs in competitive value chain through the value4her initiative

“We have built the capacity of women leaders in Malawi through the Centre for African Leaders in Agriculture programme designed for rising stars and established executives from across Africa’s agriculture sector in government, the private sector and civil society,” she said.

Mary Kanyemba, a youthful farmer in Lilongwe, said amid challenges she faces, she remains upbeat.

Pemphero Masoatheka, a budding farmer from Lilongwe, said empowering the youth has the power of enhancing their productivity.

With support from Agra initiatives, the beneficiaries are enhancing their production.

Agra is supporting government to prioritise interventions that empower youths and women to effectively engage in meaningful and profitable agricultural value chains.

The organisation seeks to transform African agriculture from a subsistence model to strong businesses that improve the livelihoods of the continent’s farming households.

Agriculture remains the mainstay of the economy, employing about 64 percent of the labour force.

For women, however, these challenges are further compounded by constraints and barriers rooted in how they are socialised, resources available to them and how society perceives them, which restrict their opportunities and performance.

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