Around 84% of people in Malawi live in rural areas (2014). 57% of these live in poverty and are largely dependent on agriculture for their livelihoods. The use of very basic technology means that most smallholder farmers produce low yields on small plots of land. A reliance on rainy seasons makes them vulnerable to drought. The country suffers from political and financial uncertainty, compounded by complex regulations, poor infrastructure and a lack of skilled workforce especially managerial.
In 2013, we secured large-scale funding from DFID for investments across five countries and this heralded the start of our work in Malawi. We remain focused on the significant opportunity to transform the productivity of Malawi’s agriculture sector and to reduce the vulnerability of smallholder farmers, by investing in large-scale irrigation and linking smallholder farmers to profitable markets.
Sources: World Bank, FAOSTAT, Global Food Security Index