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Smallholder Irrigation and Value Addition Project (SIVAP)

$39.6 million for the promotion of irrigated rice and horticulture production as well as crop diversification and value chain development for selected commodities.
Photo: Eva-Lotta Jansson


In Malawi, one in two people in rural areas are poor – the vast majority are small-scale food producers – driven by poor performance of the agriculture sector, volatile economic growth, population growth, and limited opportunities in non-farm activities. Agriculture accounts for around 30% of Malawi’s GDP, and provides a livelihood for more than 80% of the population. The sector is composed of about two million small-scale food producers who use 6.5 million hectares of cultivable land and around 30,000 commercial estates that hold around 1.2 million hectares of cultivable land. Most small-scale food producers cultivate less than one hectare. Only 2% of Malawi’s cropland is irrigated, and almost all the irrigated land is controlled by commercial estates, which mainly grow cash crops such as tobacco, cotton and coffee.


The Smallholder Irrigation and Value Addition Project (SIVAP) increases agricultural production and productivity through the intensification of irrigation, crop diversification, value addition, and capacity building for sustainable land and water management and value chain development. The main activity, the intensification of irrigation, involves construction of 11 new irrigation schemes and rehabilitation of 5 existing schemes. It also supports the implementation of programs that address institutional and capacity  constraints through capacity building of local farmers’ organizations, water users’ associations (WUAs), and farmers’ cooperatives on production technologies, nutrition, agribusiness, and environmental management. Farmers will be trained on good farming practices including timing, planting, harvesting techniques to maximize crop potential, and nutrition. 

Project Status






Focus area

  • Climate Change

Supervising entity



So far, 532,200 poor people, of whom 45 percent are women, have benefited from the project, already exceeding the end of project target of 420,408 people. To date, 78,310 farmers have adopted the technologies promoted by the project, far surpassing the target of 58,700. Several trainings have been conducted for farmers on seed multiplication, rainfed cropping, conservation agriculture, formation and strengthening of WUAs, and postharvest and value addition processes. Farmers have been trained in participatory monitoring and evaluation and have participated in study tours within the districts to other operating irrigation schemes. Farmers have been successfully linked to local markets to sell their produce and increase their income, contributing to poverty reduction. Fostering broad collaboration, the project has supported cooperatives from seven districts that attended the National Agriculture Fair. The project has rehabilitated 124 kilometers of roads out of the target goal of 133 kilometers, and 2,210 hectares of land have been improved with new irrigation and drainage services exceeding the end of project target of 2,050 hectares. These construction
projects, combined with agro-processing structures, have employed over 250 skilled workers. 


Olagoke A. Oladapo
Chief Agro Economist & Task Team Leader, +225 2026 3494

Mr. Vinda Kisyombe
Agro Economist & Alternate Task Team Leader

Work with Us

The Global Agriculture & Food Security Program (GAFSP) is dedicated to fighting hunger, malnutrition, and poverty in low-income countries by supporting resilient and sustainable agricultural systems that benefit and empower poor and vulnerable smallholder farmers. Since its inception in 2010, GAFSP has received contributions totaling $1.7 billion from Australia, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Canada, Germany, Ireland, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, South Korea, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States, with funds going to countries that have strategic, innovative, and credible plans already in place to improve agricultural productivity and food security.

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