Agricultural Commercialization Project (AGCOM) launched

The Malawi President, Prof Arthur Peter Mutharika on Friday presided over the launch of the Agricultural Commercialization Project (AGCOM) in Lilongwe whose aim is to empower farmers with good financing for investing in agriculture and access to well-structured markets.

This project (AGCOM) will transform agriculture in Malawi and empower our farmers to make more money and create more jobs” said the Mutharika.

The US$95m project is aimed at transforming the agricultural smallholder sub-sector from currently subsistence to commercial orientation and it will run for six years.

Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development, Kondwani Nankhumwa said AGCOM is aimed at increasing productivity and diversifying both the food and export base of the country. As such, the main objective is to increase commercialization of agricultural value chain products.

The minister stated that the project is being implemented through supporting the incorporation of small-scale and emerging farmers into value chains. This, he further added, will be accomplished by improving their capacity to finance and execute investments that will enhance their productivity. This is while enabling them to respond to the requirements of end-markets and buyers.
He also added that AGCOM will train and build smallholder associations into vibrant cooperatives in order to establish and enforce a business mindset. Nankhumwa said implementation of the project has already started and there is good progress so far.

MITC is one of the implementing partners of the project, the key role for MITC is to facilitate access to land for commercial agriculture and assisting farmers in identifying export markets for their products.

The AGCOM project is owned by the Malawi Government under the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development (MoAIWD) and the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism (MoITT).  Other implementing partners for the project include the Malawi Investment and Trade Centre (MITC), the Malawi Bureau of Standards (MBS) and the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development (MoLHUD).

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