Agriculture Sector Wide Approach Support Project

AGRICULTURE SECTOR WIDE APPROACH SUPPORT PROJECT (ASWAp-SP)- Enhancement of Business  Environment in the Agriculture Sector Sub Component.


1.0  Introduction 

Agriculture remains the main source of livelihoods, growth and exports in Malawi. With 85 percent of the population residing in the rural areas, the sector accounts for over 80 percent of the country’s employment, over one-third of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), and about 80 percent of merchandise exports.

Under the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) process, the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security (MoAFS) developed and adopted the Agricultural Sector Wide Approach (ASWAp), which provides a framework for further investments across the agriculture sector. The ASWAp Support Project (ASWAP SP) was launched in 2008 with initial funding from Norway and the World Bank. In 2012, the Ministry of Agriculture successfully negotiated for additional financing which incorporated activities in other Ministries namely; Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT), Ministry of Lands and Ministry of Transport. In April 2014 the Ministry of Agriculture again successfully negotiated for another additional financing from six donors which is being administered by the World Bank under the Multi Donor Trust Fund. The six donors are the European Union, USAID, DFID, FICA, Irish Aid and Norway. The total funding for the ASWAp SP will run until June 2017.

The ASWAp SP development objective is to improve the effectiveness of investments aimed at food security and sustainable agricultural growth, and strengthen the natural resource base in agricultural lands, through a doubling of the area under sustainable land management as a basis for securing ecosystem services and sustainable agricultural productivity. The Project has four components. These are;

(i) Institutional development and capacity building;

(ii) Sustainable food security, agricultural growth and diversification’

(iii) Project coordination; and

(iv) Improvement and maintenance of unpaved rural roads.


The Ministry of Industry and Trade is implementing activities under sustainable food security, agricultural growth and diversification. The activities fall under component 2.4.1; Enhancement of business environment in agriculture.. The activities include implementation of various legal and regulatory reforms in agribusiness related areas; support to national trade facilitation programme; public private dialogue and inter-agency coordination; promotion of evidence based policy formulation; promoting commercial production and exports.


2.0 Objectives

The main objective under component 2.4.1 is to improve the business environment related to agribusiness. The expectation is that improving the business environment will hasten commercialization of agriculture in Malawi.


3.0 Implementation Progress

The Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) started participating in ASWAp SP in the 2013/14 financial year. The activities that are supported include legal and regulatory reforms, trade facilitation programme, policy formulation and export promotion. To this date ASWAP has supported the following:

1.      Review of agricultural laws.

2.      Prioritization of international instruments to be promoted for ratification. The instruments to be prioritized are those that can promote export trade.

3.      Finalization of rules of civil procedure for dispute resolution in Malawi. This activity is being implemented in conjunction with the High Court. The rules will improve the efficiency of dispute resolution in Malawi.

4.      Warehouse Receipts Systems and Commodity Exchanges Study Tour: The Project supported the learning visit to India and South Africa that was undertaken in August, 2014.


During the 2014/15 financial year the Project is expected to scale up activities to be implemented. The project is expected to employ a Facilitator to support the implementation of activities. Some of the major activities to be implemented include:

1.      Automation of the BRPs and TEPs issuance system at the Immigration Department. This is also expected to support the establishment of the One-Stop-Service-Centre at MITC.

2.      Refurbishment of the Lilongwe Registry of the High Court, Commercial Division.

3.      Formulation of Commodity Exchanges Bill. Recruitment for consultants to develop the Bill already commenced.

4.      Communication of Doing Business reforms. Some reforms that were instituted have not been recognized by the private sector. The Project will support the implementation of a communication strategy that was developed in the past.

5.      Support to the trade facilitation program.

6.      Study on impact of export bans and minimum prices.

7.      Short term trainings on policy analysis and doing business reforms.

8.      Export market research.