The Mega Farm Concept Is Good for Malawi

Malawi President Lazarus Chakwera

According to a report by ReliefWeb, between October 2022 and March 2023, 3.8 million people in Malawi (20% of the population) were expected to face high levels of acute food insecurity (IPC Phase 3), an increase of 7% compared to the period in August 2022. The situation has indeed deteriorated beyond what we expected as we speak.

The Mega Farm concept by the Tonse Alliance Government aims to establish large-scale production units at one place with all necessary supporting resources, such as human labor, capital, equipment, and infrastructure, from land preparation to marketing.

Mega farms can help to ensure that smallholder farmers have access to markets. If mega farms are anchor farms, then smallholder farmers can find a market to sell their produce at these farms.

In addition, the objectives of mega-farms include promoting irrigation, providing investors with access to unutilized or underutilized estate land, strengthening agricultural financing, and increasing agricultural exports.

Malawi had no mega farms in the past. However, President Chakwera says that 800 medium- and large-scale farmers have registered to participate in the mega farm program.

We really need mega farms in Malawi. In his address, President Chakwera said that the induction of the Private Sector Mega Farms Programme will significantly contribute to the country’s economic growth by 2063. Chakwera also emphasized the need to support subsistence farmers in transitioning to agricultural mechanization to enhance crop productivity.

The best cash crops in Malawi are soya beans and groundnuts. They do well in many weather conditions and have readily available markets for both small-scale and large-scale farmers.

The main food crops are maize, cassava, sweet potatoes, sorghum, bananas, rice, and Irish potatoes. Cattle, sheep, and goats are also raised. The main industries deal with the agricultural processing of tobacco, tea, and sugar, as well as timber products.

According to The Nation newspaper, Malawi has moved to sink 63,000 hectares (ha) under irrigation and unveiled plans to mechanize farming through the One-Stop Private Sector Mega Farms initiative. This initiative will see 844 medium- and large-scale farmers being supported in commercial farming.

Under the scheme, the farmers are expected to grow crops for selected priority value chains to boost agriculture output in the country.

Launching the initiative in Kanengo, Lilongwe on August 31, 2023, President Lazarus Chakwera said the approach is a positive course that puts the nation on the path to national prosperity in collaboration with the private sector.

He described the initiative as a game-changer for the country’s economy, as most of the country’s foreign exchange revenue comes from agricultural commodities.


Mega farms are regarded as a game-changer for the country’s economic fortunes. They are capital-intensive and require large amounts of equipment, such as tractors and irrigation systems. However, they have the potential to increase agricultural productivity and exports, which could help to reduce poverty and hunger in Malawi.