The World Bank has granted Malawi US $95m for an Agriculture Commercialization (AGCOM) project. As such, the country’s agriculture sector is expected to turn into big business in the next six years. According to media reports, the initiative is an attempt to transform the agriculture sector into a high productive commercial division.
The AGCOM National Project Coordinator, Dr. Ted Nankhumwa said that the project aims at transforming the subsistence orientation among small and medium scale farmers to commercial scale. This, he said, is with a view to ensure increased productivity and promote diversification in the country.
Nankhumwa added the project has put in place measures to increase both land and labor productivity value. This, he added, is by ensuring that the former (land), which is tied to low-value crops, is released to strategic crops. As a result there will be high agricultural production as well as diversification.
The project coordinator explained that AGCOM is also likely to create a well cushioned and resilient agriculture sector which has lately proven fragile to the impact of climate change and environmental degradation. The project is thus expected to achieve the desired transformation through building of productive alliances which will support integration of small-scale farmers and emerging farmers into value addition chains.
According to Nankhumwa, the project also promises matching grants to farmers for increased production, yield, quality and sale of agricultural products. This will not only serve to improve post-harvest storage but will also enhance process capability.
AGCOM will run for the next 5 years targeting livestock, aquaculture, and small and medium crop farmers that are in cooperatives to ensure sustained commercialization. Meanwhile, the project is currently at sensitization phase which will then be followed by proposal submission by interested farmer cooperatives from across the country.