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USAid to Assist Malawi’s Economic Growth Through Agriculture

USAid to Assist Malawi’s Economic Growth Through Agriculture

The United States Agency for International Development (USAid) has disclosed plans to partner with at least 25 private sector companies in Malawi “to help stimulate economic growth.”

USAid Deputy Administrator for Policy and Programming Isobel Coleman said this in Lilongwe on Thursday during the signing ceremony of $44.6m (about K50 bn) partnership with Pyxus Agriculture Limited, a Malawian registered US company.

“We anticipate a lot of relationships; our programme is to partner with 25 private sector companies to really replicate what we are doing with Pyxus with many other firms that are going to help stimulate economic growth as you know the private sector is the engine of economic growth,” Coleman said.

Coleman, who is in the country on a two-day visit, also observed that Malawi has what it takes to attract more investors, especially in the agriculture sector.

“Malawi has tremendous potential and opportunity to attract more investors and be a place that companies will look at in the agriculture sector and in other sectors as well,” he added.

On the partnership with Pyxus Agriculture Ltd, Coleman said it aims to boost sustainable, inclusive and resilient economic growth.

She added that through the partnership agreement, USAid and Pyxus will work together to increase the availability of high-quality groundnut seed, boost groundnut production and processing and support the livelihoods of smallholder farmers.

Pyxus Agriculture Limited Managing Director Ronald Ngwira told journalists the deal will assist them in expanding their operations at their factory which is currently running at 30 % capacity.

“We have been operating for three years and this will help us to expand fast in research and development so that we can get in more farmers and be able to produce more high-quality groundnuts for Malawi to start exporting,” said Ngwira.

In the $44.6 million investment agreement which will last over five years, USAid will contribute $14.6 million while Pyxus Agriculture Limited will bring in $30 million.

It will, among others, support farmer financing for high-quality seed, expand markets for groundnut farmers, boost value addition for groundnut products and spur sustainable production of high-value varieties that are in demand on the international market.

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