Malawi is among the five countries that will benefit from an Australia government’s Global Agriculture and Food Security Program (GAFSP) to provide the African continent with agricultural expertise in a bid to increase food security.
Six countries – 5 of them in Africa – will receive grants totalling $177 million from the GAFSP in 2012/2013. The grants awarded to Malawi, Burundi, the Gambia, Kyrgyz Republic, Senegal and Tanzania will help each country increase food security, raise rural incomes and reduce poverty.
Malawi will receive $39.6 million from the program.
Australia’s High Commissioner to Malawi, Matthew Neuhaus, in welcoming the announcement, indicated that the allocation to Malawi would be used to promote irrigated rice and horticultural production as well as crop diversification and value chain development for selected commodities.
“This should have a really positive impact on Malawi’s national food security.” he said.
Malawi’s Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Food Securit, Jermoth Chilapondwa MP, welcomed the grant, saying it is “welcome development” which will offer “greater support” to the country whose economy is much dependent on agriculture.
Launched in April 2010, GAFSP represents a global effort to aid vulnerable populations afflicted by hunger and poverty. It takes up where emergency and recovery assistance leaves off, targeting transformative and lasting change in agriculture and food security.
GAFSP is a Financial Intermediary Fund administered by the World Bank. A total of $1.1 billion has been pledged to GAFSP by Australia, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Canada, Ireland, the Netherlands, South Korea, Spain, and the United States, with funds going to countries that have innovative and credible plans already in place to improve agricultural productivity and food security.
The ultimate decision making body of the GAFSP is its Steering Committee, established in April 2010. The Steering Committee is comprised of Voting Members and Non-Voting Members. Australia is the fifth largest donor to the GAFSP and Chair of the GAFSP Steering Committee.