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MCC Compact II to improve road infrastructure to spur agricultural production and productivity – Chakwera

Good road network plays a crucial role in improving agricultural production and productivity, and providing assurance for the supply of the agricultural inputs and facilitates the delivery of the farm outputs to the markets.

Farmers who have access to the bigger markets, on average, produce high crop yield. However, this has not been the case with Malawian farmers because, for decades, badly rutted and muddy roads have increased the cost of transporting agricultural materials and farm workers to farm as well as the movement of farm produce to market.

This has, in turn, contributed to the high cost of transportation for agricultural produce thereby increasing food prices and driving inflation upwards.

But things are set to improve following the launch and implementation of the Millennium Challenge Compact II (MCC) Project, which aims at addressing the high price of road freight transport service and access to land for investment.

Through the Accelerated Growth Corridors Project, the Government of Malawi aims to reduce the barriers between farm and market by improving road conditions, encouraging a more transparent and competitive business environment for transporters, and addressing first mile transportation challenges for smallholder farmers.

Hence, in his speech at the groundbreaking ceremony, which took place at Mzonde Ground in the area of Traditional Authority Kalolo in Lilongwe, President Dr. Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera reiterated his determination to implement various strategies to stimulate agricultural sector development by improving rural accessibility through the provision of rural road infrastructure and improved transport services.

President Chakwera (L) at the groundbreaking Ceremony

Chakwera said he will do so even when this does not please some unpatriotic citizens.

“In many ways, being a President is like being a parent. Even if your intentions are good, you should be sure that the good you are doing for the child, may be that the child is insulting them and seeing you as bad. For example, which parent in this country does not know that when a child is sick, you should let them hate you when you inject them with a vaccine or medicine at the doctor?

“Who in this country is a parent who does not know that when the doctor gives you medicine to drink, you have to let him hate you when you force him to drink it against his will? But even if this is the case, only a fool would make the decision to stop giving the child injections and medicine because the child feels pain or because the child, should you let him hate you when you force him to drink against his will? But even if this is the case, only a fool would make the decision to stop giving the child injections and medicine because the child feels pain or because the child does not want to and cannot speak,” he said.

President Chakwera said it is for this reason that when he was ushered into office in 2020, the first thing he did was to call Mr. Sean Caincross, who was the Head of the Millennium Challenge Corporation, to inform him about the sorry state of public roads in Malawi.

The President said he was, however, surprised that his first trip to America drew insults and noise from the opposition.

“They say don’t go there Mr. President. It is said that the money spent on the trip will be wasted. They say we know that you have not done anything there. They say we know what is in your heart, that you are going there to eat oranges. They say, they say, they say, they say. Sounds like a child being vaccinated. But I, as a parent, went, and Mrs. Alice Albright reached out to them, and we agreed on what to do. After seven months, Mrs. Alice Albright called me again, let the President hear the first documents of our agreement, we have finished, come and sign, so I left again, but then there was the noise of the injection that was going on in the country, but I went, and we signed that the American government would give us 700 billion dollars for tomorrow to build these roads. Last month, mother Alice Albright called me again, let the President listen to the second documents of our agreement, we have finished, come and sign each other, so I left for the third trip to the nursery to inject the child, allowing to be called insulting names,” said Chakwera.

The Malawi leader thanked the U.S. Government for responding positively to his request for the assistance.

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