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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

  • AfDB


To date, 656,112 people (46.2 percent of whom are women) have benefited from the project, exceeding the end-of-project target. SIVAP has promoted technologies that 341,456 farmers have adopted, far surpassing the target of 234,800; rehabilitated 132 hectares of roads; achieved 20,301 hectares of rain-fed cropping against an appraisal target of 16,000 hectares; established 18 networks
between the smallholder farmer cooperatives and Malawi’s agro-dealers; improved 2,210 hectares of land with new irrigation and drainage services, exceeding the end-of-project target of 2,050 hectares; and improved 1,170 hectares of land with improved/rehabilitates irrigation and drainage services. 


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

Mr. Vinda Kisyombe
Agro Economist & Alternate Task Team Leader

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