Friday, 27 January 2012
IFAD loan for Malawi food security, fighting rural poverty
IFAD will provide a US$22.85 million loan to Malawi to assist smallholder farmer to fight rural poverty and improve food security. Malawi is a small country with strong agricultural potential. Agriculture provides livelihoods for 85 percent of the country. Input support programmes have helped prevent widespread, deadly food insecurity in the last decade but financial instability after foreign donors withdrew funding in response to government actions last year threatened the programme. Low cash crop prices, particularly tobacco, also squeezed forex availability. This loan will support input subsidies - fertiliser, seeds, tools, etc. as well as post-harvest facilities, market infrastructure and financial services.