Ultra-poor households drilled to utilize K1bn seed capital amidst pandemic

The Financial Access for Rural Markets, Smallholders and Enterprises (FARMSE) has called upon beneficiaries of MK1.03 billion seed capital transfers in Mulanje and Phalombe districts to invest the capital wisely amidst various economic challenges due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Director of Pensions and Financial Sector Policy in the Ministry of Finance Davie Wilima said this during launch of seed money disbursement to ultra-poor graduation beneficiaries at Kachere CBCC in Phalombe District.

Wilima said the beneficiaries need to utilize the seed capital through engaging in various economic endeavours.

He said: “The aim of the programme to provide financial opportunities for the poor rural people to uplift their lives, if they do so, then they will enable the programme to achieve its objectives.”

“They should utilize these resources wisely in order for them to uplift their livelihoods and these resources should to improve their livelihoods,” Wilima said.

On his part, FARMSE National Programme Coordinator Dixon Ngwende said the programme has registered tremendous progress in seven districts which the seed money is already being disbursed.

“We have made great achievements since we started this programme and we have seen the households engaging in businesses that are helping their households in a number of ways in the seven districts where the programme was already launched,” he said.

“Our hope is that here in Phalombe and Mulanje likewise after receiving this seed money they are going to have sizeable businesses that will help the households.”

Meanwhile, one of the beneficiaries a livestock farmer Fibby Machaka of Phalombe District said she is optimistic that the seed capital will positively transform her family.

“We have been experiencing numerous economic challenges and it’s our hope that with such a timely financial intervention, we will be able to sustain our livelihood and reduce poverty,” said Machaka.

In Phalombe and Mulanje districts the programme is targeting a total of 4,250 beneficiaries and is being rolled out under the ‘Building Sustainable Livelihoods for Ultra-Poor BSLUP’ Project by the Community Savings and Investments Promotion (COMSIP) and NBS Bank.

FARMSE programme, which runs from 2018 to 2025, is a seven year national development programme financed by the Malawi government, the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the private sector.

The ultra-poor graduation scaling up programme is being implemented in nine districts of Mzimba, Salima, Chikwawa, Dedza, Mangochi, Balaka, Machinga, Mulanje and Phalombe and it is targeting about 20, 800 ultra-poor households under the Social Cash Transfer Programme.

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