Mr. Riddell and other delegates during the site tour

The Shire Valley Transformation Programme is hosting a World Bank mission. This is the first physical visit by the Bank to the project since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

A tour to the construction site was conducted on 4th June, 2021 involving the delegation from the World Bank, the CEO of the Public-Private Partnership Commission, the District Commissioner, and the Department of Irrigation. World Bank Country Manager for Malawi, Mr. Hugh Riddell also participated in the tour.

Speaking during the site tour, Mr. Riddell expressed satisfaction with the progress being made in the construction of the scheme despite challenges with COVID-19.

โ€œThe Bank has a new Country Partnership Framework for Malawi which has been aligned to Malawi Vision 2063. Some of the key focus areas in MW2063 are agriculture commercialization and value addition which the SVTP will make a huge contribution. As the World Bank, we will continue to support Malawi in its development efforts,โ€ he said.

The mission also conducted a learning tour to Phata Cooperative in T/A Maseya, Chikwawa where smallholder farmers are practicing commercial farming using the agri-business model. This is one of the farming models being championed by the Shire Valley Transformation in its agriculture commercialization drive. Phata Cooperative was established in 2011. It has 1110 smallholder farmers growing sugarcane on a total land size of 618 hectares. The cooperative partnered with Agricane as the technical and administrative partner.

Other activities during the mission include a visit to potential new areas for irrigation under the second phase of the project, meeting with prospective smallholder farmers under Phase 1 of the Scheme, and a series of meetings with different government ministries and departments and other stakeholders.

The delegation from the World Bank includes SVTP Task Team Leader who is also World Bank Lead Irrigation Engineer, Eng. Joop Stoutjesdijk, Mr. Micheal Hall, Senior Environmental Specialist and Mr. Efrem Chilima, Senior Private Sector Specialist.