March 19, 2013
The African Development Bank (AfDB) Group has approved grants and loans amounting to US $73 million to finance irrigation and road rehabilitation projects in Malawi.
The grants, amounting to US $39.98 million from the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program (GAFSP) and the African Development Fund (ADF), will be used to finance the Smallholder Irrigation and Value Addition Project (SIVAP).
A total of US $39.6 million will come from the GAFSP Multi-Donor Trust Fund, while the ADF will provide a grant of US $0.38 million.
The project aims is to contribute to food security, increased income levels and poverty reduction and the specific objectives are to increase agricultural production and productivity through intensification of irrigation, crop diversification, value addition and capacity building. SIVAP will benefit 11,400 farm families of which more than 50 per cent are headed by women.
A total of about 450,000 people will indirectly benefit from project activities through enhanced crop production, diversification and developing high value-chains.
The project will ensure ownership by the beneficiaries through participation in supervision, monitoring, evaluation, afforestation activities, matching grant arrangement for equipment, and training. The emphasis on expanding irrigation capacity will support Government efforts in achieving the objective of enabling farmers to plant at two crops per year.
The AfDB also provided a concessional loan of US $33.2 million to finance the rehabilitation of the road between Mzuzu and Nkhata Bay. The Mzuzu-Nkhata Bay road is one of the major trunk roads prioritized in the government’s Road Sector Programme, as it is part of the road network that links the northern region of the country to the central and southern regions.
The road, once rehabilitated, will support economic growth sectors in the northern region and is expected to benefit an estimated 342,211 people living in the two districts, by improving access to markets, schools, and health centres and other social-economic centres.
In addition to the above, the road is located on the Mtwara Development Corridor and therefore serves international freight traffic from Zambia and Tanzania. It is an important road link, not only for domestic connectivity, but also for regional trade and integration.
The AfDB is committed to supporting the Malawi Government in its efforts to achieve inclusive economic growth and reducing poverty.
The AfDB is confident that these resources will support Government’s efforts towards the achievement of goals and targets of the Malawi Growth and Development Strategy (MGDS II), consistent with the Bank’s Country Strategy covering 2013-2017.