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Aid-for-Trade project impresses

Government officials and farmers around National Smallholder Farmers’ Association of Malawi (Nasfam) anchor model farm at Kawerawera, Mchinji have expressed satisfaction with an Aid-for-Trade project that the government is piloting in the district.

Nasfam is implementing Promotion of Smallholder Linkages to Agro-processing through the Anchor Farm Model project under the Malawi government’s Enhanced Integrated Framework (EIF) Project.

EIF is an Aid-for-Trade multi-donor programme which is supporting Less Developed Countries (LDCs), to be more active players in the global trade system by helping them tackle supply-side constraints to trade.

When members of the EIF National Implementing Unit (NIU) from the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Tourism recently visited the farmers as part of their monitoring and evaluation exercise, the farmers showcased their economic achievements which they attributed to the success of EIF.

“Through my participation in the [EIF] project, I have managed to build a house and put a corrugated-iron-sheet roof. I am also able to send my children to school,” said Margaret Mkandawire who grows soya beans at the farm.

The Nasfam anchor farm model project will benefit at least 6, 500 smallholder farmers in Mchinji district who grow soya beans and groundnuts inside the farm and in neighbouring villages.

Nasfam’s anchor farm model project coordinator,Emmanuel Nasasala, said the project, which is in its pilot phase, could be replicated in the country by the smallholder farmers, commercial farmers and agro-processing organisations.

“We are documenting all farming activities so that we should have a dossier which everyone who is interested in employing or adopting the anchor farm model can tap from. The whole concept is to have this replicated across the country,” Nasasala said.

A member of the NIU from the Ministry headquarters, Diamond Chikhasu, expressed happiness with the role of Nasfam in implementing the project.

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