Ministry of Agriculture has challenged cooperatives benefitting from Agriculture Commercialisation (Agcom) Project matching grants to ensure value for money which is key to the success of the $95 million World Bank loan project.
Ministry of Agriculture Principal Secretary Erica Maganga said this on Thursday in Mchinji when Agcom awarded matching grants worth K355.2 million to eight organisations.
She said: “Let me appeal to you to put these hard-earned resources to good and intended use.
“I would also like to call on other producer organisations in the country to utilise this opportunity to submit their business concept notes to Agcom.”
Agcom national coordinator Ted Nakhumwa said the project is targeting to reach about 175 groups with matching grants by June next year.
Acades Malawi national coordinator Madalitso Chipekwe commended Agcom for the matching grant, saying it will transform the lives of the young people through enhanced commercial agriculture.
Through the project, cooperatives dubbed producer organisations, contribute 30 percent of their total required capital while Agcom is contributing 70 percent as a matching grant.
The project targets to graduate 650 000 farmers from being mere subsistence farmers to commercial farmers in six years.
The project, which will be implemented nationwide for six years from 2018-2023, is a $95 million (about K70 billion) World Bank credit facility aimed at transforming the agricultural smallholder sub-sector from subsistence to commercial orientation.