Agricultural Commercialization (AGCOM) says smallholder farmers have contributed 1.5 Million USD to the institution that helps them to get loans from AGCOM.
Speaking when presenting a performance report in Lilongwe on Tuesday, AGCOM National coordinator Ted Nankhumwa said the contribution which farmers have made is one way of helping farmers to change their mindset of handouts.
Nankhumwa said out of 85 productive alliances the number of beneficiaries is peaking, and 56% of them are women.
He added that AGCOM’s aim is to build self-reliant farmers in the country and be part of job creation.
“There is a need to boost the levels of Agro-processing in order to make sure that the materials that are imported should be produced in the country,” he said.
Nankhumwa further said the coming of AGCOM will assist farmers to boost the value addition levels as the country is toward the implementation of first ten implementation pillars of agenda 2063.
According to Nankhumwa, the country is doing well in the agriculture sector since they have approved 140 and 85 of them are the productive alliance, an interpretation of those who are in the cash 25% cash contribution and manage to contribute 20% income contribution.
He said the coming of AGCOM has brought change to commercial farmers since close to thirty thousand beneficiaries are dancing a tune that played.
In his words, Dr. Rodwell Mzande who is the Director of Agri-plan services applauded AGCOM for its contribution to farmers as they will become self-employed.
Mzande however said there is a need to emphasize policy implementation if farmers are to benefit from AGCOM.
“The coming of AGCOM has produced a good project for Malawians, but what is necessary is emphasize on the implementation of policies that are in place as it is paramount in our lives,” he said.
On his part, Holger Kray who is the Practice Manager of Agriculture and food security at the World Bank says the country is on average in productivity, and Malawi is making progress.
“Malawi needs to work harder and as the World Bank looks favorably to continuing supporting Malawi on agriculture,” said Kray.
Kray added Malawi should be resilient in forcing vibrant seed and bid farms in order to harvest more due to climate change
AGCOM is in process of assisting farmers to boost their benefits in agri-processing, with the aim of exporting more processed products.
AGCOM is a Malawi Government flagship program for transforming smallholder agriculture from mostly subsistence to commercial. We link together Producer Organizations (POs), service providers (including research and extension), and off-takers in a value chain, in a concept known as a Productive Alliance (PA).