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Minister reiterates commitment to raise funds for SVTP

By Leah Malimbasa

Chikwawa, April 13: Minister of Agriculture, Sam Kawale, has reassured Malawians that government is working towards raising a US$150 million deficit needed to complete phase 1 of the Shire Valley Transformation Program (SVTP).

Kawale was speaking in Chikwawa after inspecting works at the SVTP site and interacting with members of Kambadwe Cooperative on Friday.

“We visited SVTP site to witness first-hand the progress of the construction. We are aware of the delays which occurred due to the cyclone, but today I’ve seen tremendous progress,” Kawale said.

On concerns over availability of resources, Kawale disclosed that discussions are ongoing with some development partners for the project.

Kawale said the recent passed 2024/2025 budget, resources were allocated for the project and development partners are eager to ensure the programme’s completion.

The Minister is optimistic that the vision of having a food-secure nation will become a reality through the SVTP.

Senior Chief Kasisi concurred with Kawale that food security will only be achieved through irrigation farming.

“Currently, we only harvest once a year but once the SVTP project is completed, these cooperatives will be having multiple harvests in a year,” said chief Kasisi.

Secretary for Kambadwe Cooperative, Anne Kholophethe, said the project will transform lives as they already identified markets for the cash crops they will be producing as a cooperative.

“We have been trained on how to run a cooperative and, currently, we have saved K2.8 million to invest in our 294 hectares of land,” said Kholophethe.

After interacting with farmers at Kambadwe Cooperative, the minister visited Nkhate Irrigation Scheme and interacted with farmers under Nkhate Water Users Association and Nkhate Cooperative.

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