Government of Malawi and the African Development Bank (ADB) Tuesday signed a loan agreement amounting to US$22.4(MK16.5Billion) to finance the agricultural infrastructure and agribusiness among the rural youth.
Speaking at capita Hill in Lilongwe, Minister of Finance Economic Planning and Development, Goodall Gondwe said apart from empowering the country’s youth to venture into agribusiness, the loan secured will also contribute towards the promotion of economic growth of the country and at the same time improve food security through irrigation infrastructure development.
He said, “This project has four components which include irrigation infrastructure and watershed management, crop production, value addition and youth entrepreneurship, agro-cooperatives development for employability and project management and institutional strengthening.”
The Finance Minister said under the project two irrigation schemes will be developed in Dwambadzi in Nkhotakota and Linga in Nkhata-bay.
On agribusiness among the rural youth, Gondwe said Malawi was experiencing high unemployment rates as many of the youth hardly had anything to do after completing their various studies.
“We are having limited job opportunities and this is why government is exploring various ways of tackling unemployment amongst the youth and one of which is through engaging them in the agriculture sector,” he explained.
Through the project, governments expects the youths to lead a meaningful life as they will be trained on different farming methods, value chain addition and also how they can conduct the farming in a business way.
Government has also gone an extra gear in identifying potential markets for different farming products that would be produced by the youth farmers.
African Development Bank Resident Representative, Dr Andrew Mwaba said it is the Bank’s commitment to contribute towards the social economic development of the country.
He said through the project, more youths who are currently disorganized would be organized and get involved in various economic activities.