Malawi: Country strategy sparks transformation in agriculture
Some 250 young agricultural entrepreneurs were trained, 10,000 people gained access to agricultural loans and 12 small agricultural businesses have been created. In total, 8,000 new irrigation projects were launched.
Malawi has achieved significant progress in its agricultural sector, helped by a country strategy drafted by the African Development Bank. The 2018-2022 strategy also supported progress in the transport sector, according to the mid-term review approved on 4 April by the African Development Bank Group’s Boards of Executive Directors in Abidjan.
The Country Strategy Paper, approved by the African Development Bank Group’s Boards of Executive Directors in June 2018, is based on two pillars: investing in infrastructure development through energy and transport, and investing in economic transformation by added value in agriculture and developing water infrastructure.
With regard to the second pillar, the mid-term review of the strategy highlights the transformation of the Shire Valley, currently under way. By the halfway mark, some 250 young agricultural entrepreneurs had received training, 10,000 people had gained access to agricultural loans and 12 small agricultural businesses were created. In total, 8,000 new irrigation projects were launched. The Fisheries and Aquaculture Development Project and the Emergency Recovery and Resilience Programme following cyclones Idai and Kenneth should be completed this year.
In terms of economic diversification and improving the business climate, by 2020 the strategy had resulted in training for 1,000 small farmers and provided agricultural extension services. It has also allowed over 2.28 million transactions to be processed through a digital payment platform and secured three VISA and Mastercard certifications.
In terms of the first pillar and the improvement of transport infrastructure, the fourth phase of the Multinational Nacala Road Corridor Development Project is under way. The project aims to renovate the road between Nsipe and Liwonde (55 kilometres) and create a one-stop border post between Malawi and Zambia (completed in 2021), while a one-stop border post between Malawi and Mozambique is due to be completed by 2023. A significant achievement was the completion of two projects in the transport sector: the resurfacing of the road between Mzuzu and Nkhata Bay (47 kilometres) and the renovation of the road from Liwonde to Mangichi (75 kilometres).