AGCOM Project impresses World Bank Country Director

World Bank Country Director for Zambia, Malawi, Tanzania and Zimbabwe, Mara Warwick, has commended the Malawi Government for the progress made in the implementation of Agriculture Commercialization Project (AGCOM).

Warwick was speaking when she visited Acadis Youth Farmers’ Cooperative in the area of Traditional Authority Malili in Lilongwe.

The World Bank Leader said she was so impressed with the commitment and zeal shown and demonstrated by the Acadis Cooperatives.

Warwick addressing people after visiting project sites

She said was happy to visit the place for the first time and see how much work has been done.

“This is so good and we are encouraging Government to continue promoting this because this is so good for the country,” she said.

Am realy impressed for the project I visited here at Acadis these youths have created jobs for themselves and am happy how these youths how they are able to work with local people.

We are pleased and certainly we agree with the Principal Secretary and we are very willing to support Malawi, maximise profit and create jobs.

She said Agriculture is important to young people and said this good work of young people should always be encouraged.

“It is my sincere hope that the 150 other Cooperatives are doing the same and am happy that even the Chairperson is a women so this is another plus regarding gender aspect. This is good to see energy and passion from young people.”

In his address Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture Sandram Maweru said AGCOM is a flagship in as far as Agriculture Commercialization is concerned.

Maweru said despite challenges being faced , the project has already approved 200 Projects.

“I am quite pleased to inform you, our Guest of Honour, that despite a delayed start of this project, AGCOM is on the right trajectory to achieve its targets. To date, the project has approved 229 Productive Alliances (these are sub-projects with ready markets/off-takers); out of which 167 sub-projects are already being implemented against the end-year target of 200 PAs by May 2023. Additional 97 business plans are being developed and the project has about 600 Concepts from the current window of Call for Concepts that need to be assessed. This strong pipeline means that AGCOM will deliver more than 300 PAs surpassing the 200 target.” He said.

The PS commended members of staff from both Ministry for working hard to reach where things are at the moment.

He said he was happy that 28% of the beneficiaries are youths. Maweru commended the Acadis for creating employment.

“As Government we will ensure that we support the project. We will strive to finish well and if it pleases you of which I know you will, help us again”

AGCOM is a Government of Malawi flagship project for commercializing agriculture, targeting smallholder and medium scale farmers. This is a US$95m six year project (2017-2023) with credit financing from the World Bank.

Madaliso Chipekwe Acades Chairperson commended World Bank and Malawi Government for the support.

She said as farmers they have been having storage problems but now they are happy to have a warehouse facility.

She said their crops have been losing much needed quality and are not able to find a good market.

“As young people we are so happy since we will also be engaging ourselves in irrigation where we will be growing beans.

Our aim is to be growing crops year round through these irrigation facilities.”

Acades started in 2014 as a joint farm business by 6 graduates from LUANAR.

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