The International Fund for Agricultural Development IFAD says it intends to reach out to at least 40, 000 farmers who were affected by the effects of cyclone Freddy with more than USD8 million (around MK8 billion).
IFAD Country Representative Bernadette Mukonyora said this when she was addressing journalists in Lilongwe on the opening of IFAD office in Malawi, after 42 years of supporting Malawi while operating different programs from other countries.
“We have been supporting rural and agricultural developments, we have been helping smallholder farmers to overcome poverty, but we have been doing that while managing the projects from a different country, so opening an IFAD office in Malawi is an important milestone. To me it represents an elevation of partnership with the Malawi Government,” Mukonyora said.
She described the opening of the office in Malawi as timely, saying IFAD is currently working on programs concerning recovery from damages caused by cyclone Freddy.
“We are looking at how we are going to understand fears and challenges faced under cyclone Freddy, and we are looking at providing solutions,” she added.
However, she expressed optimism that the number of beneficiaries will increase to 70, 000 with support of over a MK5 million (USD5 million) grant from the Norwegian government that will focus much on fertilizer procurement and other farm inputs.
In Malawi IFAD has, among other programs, implemented the Programme for Rural Irrigation Development (PRIDE), Transforming Agriculture through Diversification and Entrepreneurship (TRADE) Programme, Sustainable Agricultural Production Programme (SAPP), Financial Access for Rural Markets, Smallholders and Enterprise (FARMSE) Programme, that aims at promoting agriculture as business, reduce hunger and poverty in Malawi.