Barely days after President Lazarus Chakwera directed the Ministry of Agriculture to set up at least one mega farm within sic months, this publication can confirm that the Ministry has hit the ground running by courting potential local companies to partner with in the Mega Farms project.
Speaking when he presided over a two day Malawi Agricultural Productivity and Commercialisation Conference recently in Lilongwe, Chakwera expressed his displeasure at the slow pace the Ministry of Agriculture is taking to set up the mega farms which was one of his campaign promises.
“One of my campaign promises was the establishment of Mega farms. But close to two years now since assuming office there has been little or nothing on the ground in relation to the same.
“The time for action on Mega farms is not next year. It is now. I therefore direct the Ministry of Agriculture to hit the ground running and come back to me with a comprehensive report on the Mega farms project within 6 months,” said Chakwera.
One week down the line after that directive was made, the Ministry of Agriculture has confirmed that it is in talks with two local companies-Conforzi Plantations in the Southern region and Raiply Malawi in the northern region.
“I can confirm that these twoncompanies have been approached on the mega farms project and our main focus as of now is on irrigation farming,” said Ministry of Agriculture Spokesperson Gracian Lungu.
According to Lungu, the Ministry has already signed agreements with the companies to venture into commercial irrigation farming.
Meanwhile Lungu has expressed optimism that treasury will release funds for the Mega Farms project despite the project not being included in the 2022-2023 national budget.
“We are optimistic that treasury will be able to release funds for this project as this is a project of national importance in as far as food security is concerned in the country,” said Lungu.
During the campaign period, Chakwera emphasized on the need for the country to be food sufficient and one of his promises for the country to achieve food security was the introduction of Mega Farms across the country for Agricultural Commercialisation.