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Peter Mutharika touts Shire Valley agriculture programme

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President Peter Mutharika has said the Shire Valley Transformation Programme, which he launched Wednesday in Chikwawa North, will help move Malawi from rain-fed to irrigated agriculture.

“With this programme, we are steadily moving from our dependence on rain-fed to irrigation agriculture. The Shire Valley Transformation Programme is a game-changer.

In the first phase, we will develop over 43,000 hectares. For this phase, we are investing K175 billion. This money is already available.

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“When we complete phases 2 and 3, we will have put more than 100,000 hectares under irrigation in Chikwawa and Nsanje. Once completed, this will be probably the biggest agriculture irrigation scheme in Southern Africa,” Mutharika said.

He hailed the World Bank, African Development Bank (AfDB), Opec Fund for International Development, Nigerian Trust Fund and Global Environmental Facility for supporting the programme financially.

Speaking earlier, AfDB Acting Country Manager, Eyerusalem Fakisa, said the project was in line with the bank’s strategy of turning agriculture into the driver of development.

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“AfDB is partnering the World Bank and Malawi Government in a very transformational manner which changes the way agriculture takes place in Malawi and the Sub-Sahara region,” Fakisa said.

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