Thursday, June 13, 2024
HomeRegionalParliament okays government to K17.2bn for youth in Agribusiness project

Parliament okays government to K17.2bn for youth in Agribusiness project

Goodall Gondwe
The Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development, Goodall Gondwe

Parliament on Tuesday allowed government to borrow K17.2 billion from the African Development Bank to finance the Agricultural Infrastructure and Youth in Agribusiness Project.

The Bill was initially rejected on Monday after some opposition argued that Bill has no specific areas and locations where the money would be channelled to once the loan has been authorized.

Others told the House that most of the loan authorization Bills passed in the past have not had any impact on ordinary Malawians.
Malawi Congress Party (MCP) parliamentarian for Dowa North Enoss Chitatanga and People’s Party  (PP) law maker Ralph Jooma said they would bring a motion to move the House to look into all the projects and what they achieved since their implementation.
According to Jooma, the areas are only mentioned in the memorandum of understanding, but not in the actual Bill.
“Meaning that if we leave it as it, money can be taken and be used in other areas not necessarily the ones that have been mentioned and nobody would question, legally, why those resources never went to the specific areas” reasoned Jooma.
While Parliamentarian for Dedza East (MCP) Juliana Lunguzi asked for more enhanced accountability on part of government for the betterment of all Malawians.
“Among the many businesses in the House starting from today we will be doing more ” Borrowing on your behalf. And as you know we will agree to this borrowing.
“But now the question is, who follows up on all these borrowings? Who verifies that indeed the borrowing is inevitable? We have previously borrowed for similar projects. Anything to show for?, queried Lunguzi.
Other Bills expected to be tabled this week are Bill No. 33 of 2016: International Development Association (Second Additional Financing for Strengthening Safety Nets Systems Project –Fourth Malawi Social action Fund (MASAF IV) Loan (Authorization); Bill No. 31 of 2016: Export and Import Bank of China (National Fibre Backbone Project) Loan (Authorization); and Bill No. 34 of 2016: National Parks and Wildlife (Amendment).
According to Finance, Economic Planning and Development Goodall Gondwe, the just passed Bill is aimed to promote economic growth and food security, through irrigation development, value chain development and expansion of opportunities in agriculture and agribusiness among the youths.
The project targets the components of irrigation, infrastructure and watershed management, crop production; value addition and youth entrepreneurship, agro-cooperatives, development for employability and project management and institutional strengthening.
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