MPs asked to consider increasing resources for NEEF agricultural loans facility

Ministers of Agriculture, Finance and Information inspecting maize fields in Lilongwe

* We are here to inspect progress of those that benefitted from the loans through NEEF

* This points to the direction that we are going to have a food secure season this year when we harvest

By Monica Tambala, MANA

Minister of Information & Digitalisation, Moses Kunkuyu, has appealed to Members of Parliament, who are set to start deliberations on  February 9, 2024, to ensure that the National Economic Empowerment Fund (NEEF) is allocated more resources some of which will be disbursed to farmers for purchase of farm inputs — thereby ensuring food security.


During a NEEF progress inspection tour in Lilongwe District on Thursday, the Minister was delighted over the progress and testimonies from farmers who took farm input loans from the Fund which, he said, is promising bumper yields.

“We are here to inspect progress of those that benefitted from the loans through NEEF. This points to the direction that we are going to have a food secure season this year when we harvest.

“This project is in all the 193 constituencies. If we realise the same kind of yield from all the constituencies, then we are assured of a food secure nation.

“If all constituencies are empowered, more clubs and more individuals are engaged to practice farming through NEEF loans, then definitely we will be saying goodbye to hunger.”

Kunkuyu appealed to Ministry of Finance, through Parliament, to allocate funds to the Ministry of Agriculture so that ADMARC can access those funds in time so that all the maize projected to be produced this season should have a ready market.

He said access to markets has been a challenge for farmers rendering them susceptible to vendors and on his part, Minister of Finance & Economic Affairs, Simplex Chithyola Banda assured of government’s commitment to provide timely and sustainable funding to ADMARC.

“We believe that ADMARC has a wider network and could probably be one of the many institutions that could help us, through the aggregation of produce, to expand the export base,” he said.

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He assured to advocate for increased funding to NEEF in order to ensure that more farmers access loans to improve agricultural productivity which, he said, has the potential to boost the country’s economy.

The farmers hailed the farm input loan intervention by the NEEF aimed at capacitating able farmers to venture into agri-business as a way of eradicating poverty and improving food security in Malawi.

Present at the inspection tour was Senior Chief Khongoni, who is also a beneficiary of the farm input loan, hailed government for providing farmers with loans which have allowed them to farm in large quantities and a hope for bumper yields.

“When NEEF loan officers came, they first reached the people in my area and said I could also take a loan so that I set a good example for my subordinates and their counterparts.

“This loan has helped me as I am now farming on a 70-acre land with diverse crops. I request my fellow chiefs to set a good example in their areas. It is not right for a chief to be begging but if we all venture into farming, we can better our lives and the nation,” she said.

Minister of Finance sampling a cold drink from a shop that has a fridge powered by solar obtained through a NEEF loan

NEEF Director, Jacob Mdelu expressed delight that the farm input loans are being put to good use, saying they are encouraged to reach as many farmers possible in eradicating poverty in Malawi.

“Our role as NEEF is to support the nation through economic empowerment,” he said. “From what we have seen here, we are encouraged by the example set by Senior Chief Khongoni.

“We encourage all those taking the loans to service them so that other farmers can also benefit,” he said.

Addressing the media, Minister of Agriculture, Sam Kawale said they are ensuring food security by implementing several programs to increase food production for consumption at domestic level as well as national level.

“Last year, we talked about agricultural inputs programme (AIP) reforms and we have been doing these in several ways. The first group of people are those who are benefiting from AIP whose number we’re reducing to transition them to commercial farmers. The second tier are those that we are sending to NEEF.

“These are the farmers who are doing agriculture business, producing different crops, getting loans as low as K250,000 to K2.5 million or more depending on what they are investing in.

“The third tier is that we are sending to the Agricultural Commercialization (AGCOM) and the fourth tier are those benefiting from mega farmer anchor farms.”

He added that the Ministry seeks to transition majority of the people from AIP to commercial farmers in order to guarantee food security at household level as well as at national level.