Ifad hopes for better farmers after Rleep


The visiting International Fund for Agricultural Development (Ifad) President, Kanayo Nwanze, has said farmers under Rural Livelihoods and Economic Enhancement Programme (Rleep), have proved that farming is not a business for poor people but a dignified money making business.

Nwaze said it is now up to beneficiary farmers to show the country that they can do farming as business and continue changing their lives for the better without Rleep support.

Rleep is an eight-year old government and Ifad initiated Programme which became effective in October 2009 and is ending in December this year.


He said Rleep was only a platform to show that farming is a business and the fund is now urging the communities in rural areas to start organising themselves in cooperatives and business enterprises to survive.

Nwaze said this Thursday after visiting Mwati Farmers’ Cooperat ive Society warehouse and cooperative members in Mchinji.

“This is the whole purpose of the programme. It is to get the farmers off the ground. Now the farmers have to take ownership of their businesses. They are making money. They can make money for themselves. Rleep will continue to exist as long as farmers take advantage of the opportunity. It has shown them that they can do it. It has shown them that people do not develop by depending on charity and handouts but on the basis of them making it a business,” Nwaze said.


Director of Rural Development in the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, Charles Kalemba, had earlier expressed that Rleep is one of the programmes that are showing signs of progress among farmers and there is a need to replicate it in other areas nor is there a need for it to close.

Nwaze said the demand for Ifad services in Malawi is huge and together with Germany International Cooperation (GIZ), they are launching Adaptation for Smallholder Agriculture Programme (Asap) which will be financing a new project on irrigation.

According to government statistics, Rleep has reached 37,000 households against a target of 24,000 households involved in the production, processing and marketing of the seven selected value chains.

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