The World Bank Group has approved $134 Million to help transform Malawi’s agricultural productivity through irrigation, laying foundations for commercialization and improved management of natural resources in the Shire Valley.
According to a statement from the bank addressed to the Minister of Agricultures Sosten Gwengwe, the financing approved on Tuesday by the Bank’s Board of Executive Directors is for the second phase of the Shire Valley Transformation Program (SVTP-II).
The whole program which is scheduled to have three phases over a 14-year period from 2017- 2031 will cover the Chikwawa and Nsanje areas of the Shire Valley.
During this time, the program will supply irrigation water by gravity to nearly 40,000 hectares, doing away with the requirement for electricity to pump water from the Shire River.
Through the provision of water services, the project is anticipated to increase agricultural production, enhance Malawi’s tourism potential, and enhance the sustainable management of natural resources, particularly wetlands and protected areas.
The Bank estimates a radical improvement in income levels of beneficiary households by overcoming the main challenges of droughts and floods in the Shire Valley region.