Private sector the key to agriculture development in Malawi
“Private sector including farmers are expected to co-finance activities amounting to 46% of the total National Agriculture Investment Plan (NAIP) budget in Malawi. With such responsibility resting with private sector partners, we expect to see more of organised engagements and informal meetings between non- state actors and the public sector.”said Hon. Joseph Mwanamvekha, Minister for Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development of Malawi at the launch of the Country Agribusiness Partnerships Framework (CAP-F) and the Investment Facilitation Platform (IFP) on Wednesday, 13 March 2019.
The Country Agribusiness Partnerships Framework (CAP-F)is well embedded within the recent Malawi NAIP, it is recognised as the tool that could foster private sector investment in the Malawian agricultural sector. The desired impact of CAP-F is to unlock the private sector investment necessary to achieve national and continental goals for the agriculture sector.
Grow Africa and the Malawi Minister for Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development brought together, at the launch, officials from the Ministry of Agriculture, agribusiness sector development partners, commercial banks, Microfinance Institutions (MFIs), impact investors, agricultural banks, development partners, and investment funds and domestic private sector agribusiness sector stakeholders looking to support the implementation of the NAIP through their projects. The meeting provided a platform for long-term engagements on scaling up investments in private sector-led agricultural value chain development.
Speaking on behalf of AUDA-NEPAD, Mr. Erick Sile, CAADP Advisor, stated that “lessons learned from the past decade of CAADP show that results are easily achieved when financial investments are supported by a clear vision of the public sector’s role in the revitalization of the private sector and catalyzation of public investments.” Through CAP-F and the Investment Facilitation Platform (IFP) the government of Malawi is committing to bring real change to the investment landscape and becoming a key delivering partner in any potential public private partnership and to attract private sector investment, especially private financial sector financing.
Mr William Asiko, speaking on behalf of Grow Africa, commended the government of Malawi for their commitment to improve the country’s agriculture sector. “I applaud the Government of Malawi and especially the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development for working with Grow Africa to deploy CAP-F in Malawi. In order for CAP-F to be effective, the establishment of a strong and capable secretariat is essential. I urge the development partners in Malawi to support the Government in resourcing the secretariat. An effective CAP-F Secretariat will be the engine for driving private sector investments in Agriculture in the country”, he said.
The way forward would focus on implementing the CAP-F, which will support agribusiness partnerships through 1) coordination 2) policy improvement 3) investment mobilization and 4) mutual accountability. The overall purpose of this process is to mainstream agricultural finance and agribusiness in the Malabo process; enlighten agriculture stakeholders on the CAP-F process; deliberate on the implementation strategy and roadmap; and attract private sector investments in supporting the recently concluded NAIP.