Close to 200 000 people in the country are expected to graduate from poverty in the next seven years from now following the implementation of Financial Access for Rural markets Smallholders and Enterprises Program (FARMSE).
Jointly funded by the government of Malawi and the International Fund for International Agriculture Development (IFAD) to the tune of USD57.7 million, the programme has targeted 211 250 people and will improve access to loans, markets and enhanced food security.
Theoretically, this means the programme will spend USD39 per person per year in the next seven years or less than that it running costs and other administrative issues are factored in.
FARMSE Programme Coordinator, Dixon Ngwende said during a day long media orientation workshop in Mzuzu that the program is expected to establish 2535 Community Based Financial Organizations ( CBFO) and strengthen 5915 existing ones hence benefit more that 211 250 Malawians.
Ngwende said intended beneficiaries will have increased access to new innovative financial services and low cost delivery mechanism for poor rural households and Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).
He further said the initiative will also support in the scaling up of proven financial services and delivery mechanisms.
“The programme is also aimed at strengthening to support FARMSE to earn the trust and confidence among local leaders and beneficiaries. It shall also improve food security to ultra poor women headed households and youths graduate from abject poverty,” he said.
Journalist George Chitaya hailed FARMSE for the timely engagement of the media practitioners in their program saying this has equipped them with the skills and knowledge on how to report about the project.
“It’s nice to know what you’re reporting about, so this workshop has enabled us, the media practitioners to know exactly what the program is all about,” Chitaya said.