Photo taken on Nov. 26, 2015 shows a truck loaded with sacks of agricultural produce along the muddy Sironko-Mbale road at Bugusege trading centre, eastern Uganda. As a country where over 80% of the population relies on agriculture, the Uganda government is prioritizing growth of infrastructure to economically viable areas to ease access to the markets. (Xinhua/Daniel Edyegu)
Photo taken on Nov. 26, 2015 shows a truck loaded with sacks of agricultural produce along the muddy Sironko-Mbale road at Bugusege trading centre, eastern Uganda. As a country where over 80% of the population relies on agriculture, the Uganda government is prioritizing growth of infrastructure to economically viable areas to ease access to the markets. (Xinhua/Daniel Edyegu)

There is hope for Malawian farmers as the country’s President Peter Mutharika disclosed plans of heavy investment in the agriculture sector to make the country “an economy that withstands climate fluctuations.”

Mutharika made the statement Friday at Parliament Building in the country’s capital Lilongwe in his State of the The Nation Address when he presided over the opening of Parliamentary Session of the national budget.

Among the investments, Mutharika disclosed that Government was implementing an Agricultural Sector-Wide Approach Program with an aim to enable smallholder farmers to have access to investment capital and markets.

He said: “As part of the program, we plan to construct 4,000 kilometres of roads in order to enable our farming communities to access markets. This work began in march and as I speak, 40 contractors are already on the road upgrading rural access roads and building bridges.”

He also disclosed development of Nchalo Irrigation Scheme in the country’s Southern Region district of Nchalo where he said more investors would come in to increase value addition.

He disclosed that a new farm was already on the ground investing in aquaculture and production of biofuels from bamboos.

“We also have a major greenbelt initiative on smart irrigation targeting 24, 000 hectares and investors are set to partner with Nchalo Farmers’ Association,” he explained.

He also said the government was implementing a Shire Valley Transformation Irrigation Program funded by a loan from the World Bank which covers at least 40,000 hectares.

He said construction of the intake canals of the Shire Valley Transformation Irrigation Program would start in August.

“The complete picture of our irrigation program says one thing: Malawi’s irrigation program is going to be the biggest irrigation program in the southern African Region,” explained Mutharika. Enditem

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