Minister of Agriculture Sam Kawale has expressed impression over the first maize harvest by Illovo Plc in partnership with Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (LUANAR) under the ”Tropical Cyclone Freddy Relief Maize Production Initiative” in Dwangwa, Nkhotakota.
Speaking during the tour and witnessing the harvesting of maize on Saturday in Dwangwa, Kawale said what is being witnessed is an extremely good way in which government, academic Institutions as well as the private sector can come together and fulfil the vision of President Lazurus Chakwera of mega farms.
”The harvest will go a long way in helping different Institutions to have access to food,” he said, adding that this is just a very small piece of land that has been utilized.
The partnership has resulted in cultivating 102 hectares of land through irrigation farming.
Kawale expressed optimism that come 2024 not only investing in rain fed agriculture but they are also setting aside more money that will go into irrigation.
LUANAR Council Chairperson, Professor Zachary Kasomekera said the maize initiativein Dwangwa has showcased the impact of partnerships in providing solutions to uphold and assist the nation.
”The end result of the initiative through collaboration is what is witnessed. More maize has been harvested on a small land,” he said.
Illovo Plc Managing Director, Lekani Katandula believed that the private sector in partnership with the government can do a lot for the country.
”We are proud to be part of this successful project which will go a long way in reducing food insecurity in Malawi,” he said.
In the partnership, Katandula said, Illovo Plc provided over 100 hectares of land valued at the forgone opportunity of producing 11,050 tons of cane in 2024 with revenue equivalent value of K899.7million, free water for irrigation as well as providing free storage area for farm inputs and equipment.
The government provided K 300 Million through the University.
Meanwhile, harvesting is in progress with an expectation of 700 metric tonnes in the first phase.