SVTP’s Engineer James Chikhungu briefing the Minister during the site tour

Minister of Agriculture Honorable Lobin Lowe, MP says government will ensure that the SVTP materializes to benefit smallholder farmers in the targeted districts of Chikwawa and Nsanje.

Honorable Lowe said this when he and his Deputy Honorable Agnes Nkusa Nkhoma, MP visited the SVTP construction site to monitor progress.  He commended the strong collaboration between the Ministry of Agriculture and other Programme implementing ministries and underscored the importance of monitoring key performance indicators at all levels to ensure that outputs are achieved.

“I am impressed with the progress the Programme has made in the few months since construction work started.”  

“We have come this far because of collaborative efforts of all implementing partners.  We will ensure that there are clear key performance indicators to monitor progress at each level. As a ministry we are committed to seeing this Programme materialize and transform the lives of farmers in the Shire Valley,” he said.

Honorable Lowe further said once the Programme has been completed, Malawi will be transformed from a predominantly exporting country to a producing and exporting country.

The Parliamentary Committee on Government Assurances and Public Sector Reforms also undertook a monitoring visit to the SVTP. Speaking on behalf of the Committee during the site tour, the Chairperson of the Committee Honorable Noel Lipipa, MP lauded the Programme for the progress made in construction work despite the limitations brought by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are very satisfied with the progress the Programme has made this far despite the brief suspension of works due to COVID-19.  We are happy that the Programme is on track.  The Committee will lobby Parliament to continue supporting the Programme with the much-needed resources for it to be viable and to stay on track,” he said.

The Committee also inquired about measures the Programme has put in place to ensure that people in the Programme area are protected from gender-based violence.  The Programme has put in place a GBV Service Provider, Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace to specifically manage all issues related to gender based violence and child protection.