The Malawi government has secured $4 million (about K2.9 billion) from the Government of Japan for the implementation of a Market-Oriented Smallholder Horticulture Empowerment and Promotion Project (Ma-Shep).
Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development Principal Secretary Erica Maganga said on Thursday during the signing ceremony in Lilongwe the project is aimed at filling gaps in the agriculture value chain.
“This is going to provide maximum security for the farmers who have been exploited for a long time by vendors. It is a project whereby farmers will be oriented on marketing strategies so that they identify good markets,” she said.
Maganga said during the pilot phase of the project a year ago, about 200 farmers in Mchinji and Ntchisi districts registered great success and that the project will now be rolled out nationwide.
Japan Deputy Ambassador Yoshikazu Wada said Malawi is one of the 23 countries, which submitted proposals for the project in which only two countries have been successful.
He said Japan will continue to partner Malawi in a number of projects to ensure national development and improved livelihoods for its people, especially those in rural areas.
“Our government will continue to offer technical expertise in the implementation of the project and other projects of national development. This project is of interest because it is sealing gaps in the marketing chain,” he said.
The agreement is for five years starting from 2017.