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Government for intensified commercial farming

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By Wanangwa Mwachitete:

EARNER—Tea

The government has unveiled plans to invest heavily in transforming the agriculture sector and supporting subsistence farmers graduate to commercial-based production.

This is set to be implemented through the Agricultural Commercialisation (Agcom) Project aimed at enhancing the agriculture sector’s contribution to Gross Domestic Product.

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Beneficiaries include small and medium scale farmers who would be working under productive alliances for maximum productivity.

Speaking at a sensitisation workshop in Blantyre on Tuesday, Agcom National Coordinator, Ted Nakhumwa, said the project would enhance food security.

“This project will greatly contribute to the urgently needed agricultural transformation in Malawi, achieving diversified production and increasing productivity”, Nakhumwa said.

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Director of Agriculture Planning Services in the Ministry of Agriculture, Alex Namaona, said the project has potential to facilitate economic growth.

He said, through the project, the government would intensify irrigation farming.

“The project considered a number of issues that are limiting the performance of the agriculture sector in Malawi including low productivity influenced by a number of factors including use of poor technologies, inadequate funds and poor market infrastructure,” Namaona said.

The Agricultural Commercialisation Project is being implemented by the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development in collaboration with the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism.

The six-year project, which started in 2018, will run to 2023 and is being implemented with a credit facility worth $95 million from the World Bank.

It is expected to facilitate formulation of at least 300 productive alliances and graduate about 650,000 smallholder producers from subsistence to commercial farming and help them start producing for export markets.

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