Today, Neven Mimica, Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, and Arthur Peter Mutharika, President of Malawi, signed important agreements in the areas of Agriculture and Nutrition, which will contribute to Malawi’s progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals.
At this occasion, Commissioner Mimica said: “By launching these programmes worth €185 million today, will have a real impact in people’s lives and for sustainable agriculture in Malawi. They will do so by increasing agricultural production, helping farmers adapt to climate change and breaking the annual cycle of food insecurity. Through the first programme we will reduce the vulnerability of about 400.000 productive smallholder farmers – through improving smart agriculture technologies, access to markets and credit. With the help of the second programme we will address undernutrition of people: our comprehensive response will cover agricultural diversification, school meals, behavioural change and governance. The two programmes are strongly interconnected in order to achieve the highest possible impact.”
To improve Agricultural growth, the EU will support the KULIMA programme with €100 million grant. KULIMA in the main local language, Chichewa, means “promoting farming in Malawi”. This programme will provide skills to 400,000 Malawian farmers who will be trained in climate-smart agriculture practices to diversify and increase their production, productivity and incomes. In addition, it will facilitate access to credit to agriculture Small and Medium Entreprises (SMEs) and smallholder cooperatives helping boost agricultural growth. This programme will contribute to Malawi’s goal to almost double its agriculture annual growth rate from 1.6% to 3% by 2023. The programme will be implemented in partnership with European Investment Bank (EIB), the German development agency (GIZ) and the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).
To tackle malnutrition, the EU will support the ‘AFIKEPO’-nutrition programme (€ 70 million). AFIKEPO means: “Let the children develop to their full potential”. The proposed action will address Malawi’s problems of under nutrition, particularly with children under-5, and their negative consequences on cognitive, social and economic development in line with priorities and policy commitments of the Government of Malawi, the EU, its Member States and the United Nations. This programme is the second largest in the developing world fully dedicated to nutrition and will scale up successful existing initiatives. This programme will be implemented in in partnership with GIZ and FAO.
A third EU programme for €15 million will support the Government in the effective design and implementation of Development Cooperation programmes.