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The OPEC Fund for International Development (OPEC Fund) has signed a US$20mn development loan agreement with Malawi to improve the livelihoods of around 1.3 million people living in rural areas

E41 Malawi Rural DevThe programme supports Malawi’s National Agriculture Policy (NAP). (Image source: OPEC)

The funding will support the ‘Transforming Agriculture through Diversification and Entrepreneurship’ programme, aligning it with Sustainable Development Goal 2 on food security, improved nutrition and sustainable agriculture.

The objective is to strengthen the value chains and improve the resilience and capacity of smallholder farmers and rural organisations in Malawi.

The programme will provide better infrastructure (including new roads) and access to rural financial solutions and enhanced partnerships with the private sector and inclusive business development services. Climate smart interventions will help to combat land degradation and improve agricultural productivity.

The programme supports Malawi’s National Agriculture Policy (NAP), which aims to achieve sustainable agricultural transformation to boost growth in the agricultural sector, increase income for farm households, and improve food and nutrition security for all Malawi and boost agricultural exports.

The OPEC Fund is co-financing the programme with the International Fund for Agricultural Development as well as private sector enterprises, beneficiaries and the government of Malawi. To date, the OPEC Fund has approved 22 loans in Malawi for a total of more than US$207mn. The approved finance relates to operations in the health, agriculture, transport, education, and water and sanitation sectors.