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World Bank credits Malawi $95 million for agriculture

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The Word Bank has pumped $95 grant (about K68 billion) into the commercialisation of agriculture industry by supporting agribusiness reforms.

The funds are set to benefit about 70,000 farmers and 300 farmer’ organisations under Agriculture Commercialisation Project.

According to a statement released by the World Bank office in the country on Monday, Malawi has potential to boost the quality and quantity of various agricultural products for domestic and export markets.

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The World Bank approved the funds on May 23 2017 with the aim of benefiting areas of various agribusinesses including crop, livestock and fisheries sold domestically or exported, with or without processing.

“The project will create a conducive environment for farmers and agro-businesses to operate in. It will support infrastructure such as feeder roads and electricity as well as supporting agro-business reforms and strengthening the warehouse receipt system in the country.

“The most beneficiaries[sic] of the project are farmers and farming producer organisations, buyers such as processors, retailers, exporters and aggregators,” reads the statement

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The other beneficiaries will be financial institutions that will be lending to the agribusiness sector in the country.

The project is also set to ensure that youth and women are well represented in its interventions and will have national coverage.

Agriculture Commercialisation Project will also support the creation of business enabling services by improving access to finance, standards and certification, and trade facilitation of farm produce.

Government spokesperson Nicholas Dausi said the coming in of the World Bank is based on collective efforts by all people in the country.

He said Malawi is an agro-based country and financing agriculture interventions is putting good foundation for the country’s economy.

“This is a milestone for better economy,” Dausi said.

“It will assist local people living in rural areas, who usually depend on farming, to make ends meet. Agriculture is a better tool for our economic growth.”

The project, which is expected to be finalised in 2023, will be implemented by the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development and the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism.

The World Bank has also supported Malawi government with $80 million grants towards 2017/18 national budget. This was the first budget support financing approved by the World Bank for Malawi in four years.

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