SVTP: A catalyst to the realization of the MW2063

The President of the Republic of Malawi Dr Lazarus Chakwera has underscored the importance of the transition from smallholder to commercial farming for national development.

If we do not change what we farm and how we farm, we will not become an inclusively wealthy and self-reliant nation. Its that simple.

“We must transit from subsistence to real substantive farming. If we do not change what we farm and how we farm, we will not become an inclusively wealthy and self-reliant nation. It’s that simple,” he said.

SVTP presentation during the National Agriculture Commercialization Conference in Lilongwe

The President was speaking during the launch of the 10-year Implementation Plan of the Malawi 2063 Vision (MW2063).

The Shire Valley Transformation Programme (SVTP) operates at the centre of the MW2063. The MW2063 is the new blueprint for national development to spur the country from a least-developed status to a self-reliant, wealthy nation. The SVTP contributes to the three pillars of the Vision: agriculture development and commercialization, industrialization and urbanization. It also contributes to economic infrastructure and environmental sustainability enablers of the Vision.  

The Government of Malawi is constructing a 133km-long gravity-fed irrigation scheme from the Kapichira Dam in Chikwawa to Bangula in Nsanje to irrigate 43,370 hectares. 

The Ministry of Lands secured 45,833 land parcels (22,299 hectares) for 48,175 smallholder farmers in Chikwawa.  Smallholder farmers will consolidate their land into commercial farms measuring between 500 to 1600 hectares each. Farmers will hire agri-business management companies to manage the operations of the farms. Farmers will diversify farming to focus on crops, livestock and fisheries.  Five cooperatives belonging to smallholder farmers have been registered in Chikwawa so far.

Oval: 6The project is also working on issues of natural resource management in collaboration with communities around Majete and Mwabvi Wildlife Reserves, Lengwe National Park, Matandwe Forest Reserve, and the Elephant Marsh. Conservation of these natural habitats is vital for the sustainability of the Shire River which is the major source of water for the Kapichira Reservoir which supplies water to the SVTP irrigation scheme.