President Lazarus Chakwera says his administration has established two megafarms and other megafarms have also been established by the Malawi Prison Services and the Malawi Defence Force.
Chakwera said this during today’s State of the Address (SONA) at the opening of the Meeting of the 50th Session of Parliament and the 2023/2024 Budget Meeting at Parliament Building in Lilongwe.
In his speech, President Chakwera said that his administration has successfully embarked on megafarms aimed at establishing large production units for increased agricultural production.
He added that they have already established two megafarms at Chipoka in Salima and at Nkopola, in Mangochi with 200 hectares of maize currently under cultivation in Mangochi and 80 hectares of cotton under cultivation and production in Chipoka.
” Additionally, through the Agriculture Commercialisation Project (AGCOM), we have also allocated 6 million dollars to the Katunga Maseya Cooperative to invest in a Mega Sugarcane Farm in Chikwawa. It is also worth mentioning that other entities such as the Malawi Prison Services and Malawi Defence Force have established their own megafarms,” said Chakwera.
He added that his administration has also been have been organizing farming communities into cooperatives and alliances that can grow crops at scale and add value for both local and international markets.
According to Chakwera, through Agricultural Commercialization Project (AGCOM), government has successfully established 345 Productive Alliances throughout the country and made a total of 23 million dollars in investment through matching grants.
“Currently, the program is supporting over 74,000 farming households across the country including 43,880 women, 30,200 men, and 20,572 youth.
“In the past year alone, AGCOM increased value of gross sales by producer groups to 18.5 million dollars against a target of 10 million dollars. This is wealth creation at household level where it matters most,”
On irrigation, the president said government has intensified irrigation systems to move away from reliance on rain-fed farming. He said government has launched various irrigation schemes across the country, including rural irrigation schemes.
He mentioned Wowo Irrigation Scheme in Phalombe which is at 74% completion; Lingoni Irrigation Scheme, at 83% completion; Matoponi Irrigation Scheme, at 74% completion; and Mafinga scheme in Chitipa.
On agricultural exports, Chakwera said in the past year, China granted Malawi 98% duty-free and quota-free market access, as well as an MoU on Sanitary and Phytosanitary to facilitate the export of groundnuts and soybeans.
According to Chakwera, Malawi exported 23,000 MT of Pigeon Peas and 63,000 MT of soya beans to India and also conducted trial exports of 1,200 MT of Maize Flour and 900 MT of Rice to South Sudan.
“Currently, we are engaged in discussions with Tanzania and the Gambia for the export of 100,000 Metric Tonnes of Soybeans and 70,000 Metric Tonnes of broken rice Respectively,” said Chakwera.
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