MALAWI- Malawi and Mozambique’s agriculture sectors are set for a significant boost thanks to the World Bank’s Southern African Trade and Connectivity Project, which will inject MWK 262 billion (US$150 million) into both countries’ agriculture and trade sectors. 

The project’s implementation in both countries will target the entire agricultural value chain, from assisting farmers to supply chain and logistical support to ensure agricultural produce reaches markets. 

The funding is also expected to boost trade connectivity, aiding farmers in accessing both local and international markets for their produce by reducing trade costs and time in transit. The prime focus is on SMEs.  

According to the World Bank, 20% of the fund will be used directly to develop agriculture systems in both countries, while 40% will be used to enhance trade between both countries and enhance their competitiveness in the international market. The rest will be used to develop roads and other public utility infrastructure that will help enhance the agriculture value chain. 

The Malawian government lauded the project, reiterating its potential to enhance Malawi’s competitive position in the international agriculture market.  

 Charles Mtonga, Malawi’s Minister for Trade, Transport and Public works, said, “This project will be a game-changer for Malawi’s agriculture sector. We will target the agriculture sector in the initial phase, but there is a component to improve as we go along. The goal is to expand our export base.” 

According to the World Bank, the project will help transform both countries’ agricultural competitiveness and promote food security in the Southern Africa region. 

Hastings Ngoma, the fund’s Project Manager, revealed that the project’s first phase will involve automating systems across the agricultural value chain, which he says will enhance production efficiency. 

Ngoma said, “We want to have an automated system to replace the manual system. If we can integrate these two departments through the use of an automated system, then we will be closer to reducing the inefficiencies caused by manual processes.” 

He also revealed that the project would help eliminate non-trade barriers that hinder trade between Mozambique and Malawi. 

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