Improving agricultural production in Malawi
EU Commissioner for Development, Andris Piebalgs, and the President of Malawi, Joyce Banda, have signed two agreements which will help Malawi to reach the Millennium Development Goals. The EU will contribute to a new government programme designed to strengthen agricultural productivity and expand the area under irrigation.
With this programme, Malawi aims to increase its maize yield by two thirds and almost double household incomes in agriculture. This will contribute to the goal of 6% of annual growth in Malawi.
A second EU contribution will fund cash transfers to extremely poor households to help them out of poverty and hunger. It will make families more resistant to shocks like high food prices, but also improve school enrolment and health. This EU support is expected to provide benefits to a total of 83,000 households.
Speaking at the European Development Days in Brussels, Commissioner Piebalgs commented: "During this, my first meeting with President Joyce Banda, I confirmed the EU's readiness to support the President's efforts to put Malawi on the path towards development. These two programmes illustrate what EU aid is about: helping the most vulnerable to survive and, at the same time, supporting partner countries in their strategy to achieve inclusive and sustainable growth. We will give urgently-needed help to the poorest, such as households of children orphaned by AIDS that have no possibility to earn money. Our support for agriculture and irrigation will underpin the ambitious plans of the Malawi government. It will create substantial growth in this sector which forms the backbone of the country's economy."
Read the full press release: http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-12-1103_en.htm