The European Investment Bank (EIB) today announced a new EUR 30 million facility for the financing of private sector projects in Malawi with the National Bank of Malawi (NBM).
The initiative, developed together with USAID and ACE, will enhance the access to finance for private sector companies and will primarily target the development of agricultural storage capacity in the country. As such it will contribute to key developmental priorities of Malawi, including private sector development, increased food security and reduction of poverty. Another main priority is support for higher resilience towards climate change by mitigating food supply volatility due to adverse weather events.
This facility will bring in EUR 30 million worth of new agro storage assets which will greatly reduce post-harvest losses in Malawi and help in improving national development.
“The lack of agricultural storage facilities has been an issue for the development of the agriculture sector in Malawi”, said Robert Schofield, head of the EIB’s Global Partners’ Financial Sector Division, “The EIB facility aims to address this issue to the benefit of the farmers as well as the Malawian authorities by improving market transparency and providing information for a more efficient agriculture policy.”
“This facility will bring in EUR 30 million worth of new agro storage assets which will greatly reduce post-harvest losses in Malawi and help in improving national development.” says NBM’s Chief Executive Officer, Dr George Partridge. “According to the African Post Harvest Losses Information System of the Monitoring Agriculture Resources, Malawi loses over 23% of its maize crop due to post harvest loss due to a variety of reason chief amongst them, is the absence of quality grain storage facilities.
This facility will go a long way to reduce these post-harvest losses. Through this facility National Bank of Malawi wants to positively contribute to the National Development by increasing smallholder farmers’ access to quality grain storage facilities. This will be achieved by making available 30% of the space in each and every agristorage facility to smallholder farmers participating in the Warehouse Receipts System offered by the Agriculture Commodity Exchange.”
The initiative will aim to support agri-storage projects with high developmental impact. These projects will consist of new storage capacity for agricultural commodities, which will be certified under a warehouse receipt system (WRS) and made available to third parties. This approach is intended to stimulate a wider inclusion of farmers in the national WRS, under which farmers can use warehouse receipts as collateral to enhance access to financing. The inclusion of new storage capacity in a WRS will also improve market transparency and provide information for a more efficient agriculture policy aimed at managing and improving food security.