Mega Farms Finally Roll-Out, K500 million Disbursed in Initial Phase
Two years of promise and delay to opening of mega farms appears over as government has begun implementing the large-scale agricultural plan.
At least five such farms have been established, with Greenbelt Authority in the lead.
The authority’s CEO, Eric Chizungu, says 500 million Kwacha has already been disbursed for the establishment of the mega farms.
“Greenbelt is working with other stakeholders in implementing the setting up of the mega farms and so far about five farms have already been set up and maize has been planted.
The mega farms are in Karonga, Nkhata Bay, Nkhotakota, Salima Mangochi, and Chikwawa.
In Nkhatabay we intend to plant rice, we have planted maize in Mangochi and we will plant cotton in Salima,” said Chidzungu.
But while commending the government move, research think-tank Mwapata Institute recommends that management and governance of the farms should be with private investors and not the government.
Mwapata Insititute’s Executive Director William Chadza says the Central Government’s role should be limited to the provision of a conducive environment in implementation of mega farms.
“As we earlier stated in our research at Mwapata, we think governmentshould provide a conducive environment for operators of mega farms as there could be ripple effects as the presence of large farms will likely to increase small farms’ access to improved seed, fertilisers and other inputs,” said Chadza
On his part, Controller of Agricultural Extension and Technical Services in the Ministry of Agriculture, Alfred Mwenefumbo says government is encouraging investors to step forward and join the setting up of mega farms.
“We are talking to various stakeholders about potential funding of ideas of those that have shown interest in developing mega farms. There are several private farmers that have expressed interest to open mega farms and as government we are playing key role in ensuring that the farms are operational,” said Mwenefumbo.
President Lazarus Chakwera gave his minister of agriculture six months to set up a minimum of one mega farm, one of Tonse Alliance campaign pledges, an initiative aimed at countering perpetual food insecurity in the country.
Last modified on Tuesday, 20/12/2022
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