The Mega Farm initiative of President Lazarus Chakwera has been praised by the Lilongwe-based non-governmental organization Agriculture for Life Enhancement and Development as a preeminent tool to alleviate poverty in the country.
In an interview, Matthew Mphande, the executive director of Agriculture for Life Enhancement and Development, articulated the initiative’s multifaceted potential. Mphande emphasized that Mega Farms possess the capacity not only to foster employment opportunities and generate foreign exchange through exports but also to ensure food security at the household level.
President Dr. Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera inaugurated the Mega Farms, envisioning the cultivation of an extensive 63,000 hectares under irrigation. Additionally, plans were unveiled to modernize farming through the One-Stop Private Sector Mega Farms initiative, a strategic endeavor aimed at supporting 844 medium and large-scale farmers engaged in commercial farming.
Within this initiative, participating farmers are tasked with cultivating crops aligned with selected priority value chains, contributing to the augmentation of agricultural output on a national scale. During the launch, President Chakwera underscored the initiative’s positive trajectory, emphasizing its collaborative nature with the private sector as a crucial element in steering the nation towards prosperity. He went on to characterize the initiative as a transformative force, deeming it a pivotal factor in the country’s economy, given that a significant portion of foreign exchange revenue emanates from its agricultural commodities.
“Given the forex challenge we have faced in the recent past, it is clear that our long-term solution has to involve boosting and diversifying agriculture productivity for export,” said Chakwera.
Among others, the initiative, seeks to facilitate the striking of deals and contracts in areas of financing, off-taking, tractor hiring, irrigation facilities provision, fertiliser and inoculant suppliers, certified seed suppliers and farm business plan development consultants.