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GOVERNMENT IS OPTIMISTIC ABOUT MEGA FARMS.

GOVERNMENT IS OPTIMISTIC  ABOUT MEGA FARMS.

President Lazarus Chakwera opened the 50th Session of Parliament and the 2023/2024 budget meeting in Lilongwe on February 17, 2023, expressing a strong commitment to transforming Malawi into a low-middle-income economy through the establishment of mega farms.

“I am optimistic that through the establishment of mega farms, we will be able to reinstate agriculture activities and make significant strides in our quest to become a self-sufficient nation,” said President Chakwera.

The President said his administration has already established two mega farms in Mangochi and Salima to boost
agricultural production.

“We have already established two mega farms at Chipoka in Salima, and Nkopola in Mangochi, with 200 hectares
of maize currently under cultivation in Mangochi and 80 hectares of cotton under cultivation and production at
Chipoka,” said Chakwera in his State of the Nation Address (SONA) entitled:

“Delivering economic transformation and governance reforms through sacrificial action and service excellence.”

The Malawi leader added that institutions such as the Malawi Prison Service and the Malawi Defense Force have also
established their mega farms, saying that under agriculture commercialization, farming communities will be organized into cooperatives and alliances that will be able to grow crops on a large scale and add value for both local and international markets.

Chakwera further indicated that a total of 74 thousand farming households have been assisted by the agriculture
commercialization program across the country.

He indicated that more than 300 productive alliances have been established countrywide.

“This will go a long way in creating employment and wealth for people. I am also pleased to announce that the government intends to establish a national export processing zone that will provide markets for the products manufactured locally,” said Chakwera.

The President also clarified that the Tonse Alliance led government has intensified the progression of Shire Valley
Transformation Project in Chikwawa and Nsanje, aimed at intensifying the irrigation system in the two districts and
helping Malawi move away from over-reliance on rain fed agriculture.

However, in response to the SONA,the Leader of Opposition in Parliament who is also Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Vice President for the South, Kondwani Nankhumwa, said the President’s address does not qualify to be recorded as a State of the Nation Address, saying it lacks a clue on how government intends to alleviate the sufferings of many Malawians.

“Talk is cheap, lips have short legs,” said Nankhumwa in his statement. Nankhumwa wonders why government is
failing to address a number of challenges such as rampant corruption and the high cost of living Malawians are going
through.

Recently, when answering questions in the august House on February 28, President Lazarus Chakwera told the
nation that the Affordable Inputs Program (AIP) will not be replaced by mega farms as speculated by some quarters of the society, saying AIP’s main objective is to assist underprivileged households to get farm inputs at lower prices so as to achieve food security at a household level.

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