About the SVTP:

The Government of Malawi (GoM) through the Ministry of Agriculture, with support from the World Bank, the African Development Bank, and the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID), is implementing the Shire Valley Transformation Programme (SVTP). ย The SVTP is a 14-year program (2018-2031) which will be implemented in three sequential but partially overlapping phases.

The SVTP will irrigate 43,370 hectares of land by abstracting water from the Shire River at Kapichira Dam and conveying it by gravity to the irrigable area in Chikwawa and Nsanje Districts through canals.  This will ensure a more consistent supply of water to farmlands throughout the year. 

Phase 1 will cover 22,280 hectares and Phase 2 will cover 21,090 hectares.  The 43,370 hectares comprise 29,338 hectares (67.65%) of smallholder farmers and 14,032 hectares (32.35%) of large-scale farmers. The breakdown is as follows:

Smallholder FarmersLarge Scale Farmers
Name of FarmArea (HA)Name of FarmArea (HA)
Kasinthula1,429Illovo – Nchalo Estate9,995
Phata696Sande Ranch454
New area27,213Alumenda2,764

Guiding Principles:

The SVTP has the following guiding principles:

  • Benefit current landowners and users, and include them in agricultural modernization;
  • Farmers who want to participate will have to organize themselves and consolidate their land;
  • Allow for private investments in partnership with landowners and users;
  • Give communities a free choice to join the scheme;
  • Charge fees to pay for management, operation and maintenance of the irrigation infrastructure. This will create a sustainable scheme that remains in good condition.

Our Objective:

The program development objective (PDO) for the Shire Valley Transformation Programme is to increase agricultural productivity and commercialisation for targeted households in the Shire Valley; and to improve the sustainable management and utilization of natural resources.

The objective of the first phase of the Programme (2018 to 2023) is to provide access to reliable irrigation and drainage services, secure land tenure for smallholder farmers and strengthen management of wetlands and protected areas in the Shire valley. 

The objective of the second phase of the Programme (2022-2028) is to develop irrigated commercial agriculture and strengthen the management of natural resources in the Programme area.

What We Aim to Achieve:

  • Provide reliable, professionally managed and sustainably financed irrigation service to irrigators in a phased construction of the scheme and providing multiple services including water supply;
  • Support farmer organisations within a comprehensive land use plan; supporting land tenure strengthening and consolidation; as well as natural resources management; and
  • Establish smallholder owned commercial farm enterprises transitioning into commercial agriculture from subsistence farming and integrating them into commercial value chains.