Thursday, September 7, 2023

Lilongwe, Malawi

DEPUTY ADMINISTRATOR ISOBEL COLEMAN: Thank you. It's a pleasure to be here in Malawi today, I just came from Tanzania, where I was attending the African Food System Forum. And it's really great to be here at this MOU signing with Pyxus. To see in action, the type of partnership that the United States government can have with the private sector to really improve agricultural productivity, agricultural growth, and help smallholder farmers. So, the MOU we signed today is a partnership between USAID and Pyxus with $14.5 million that we're investing in this partnership to help Pyxus expand to more smallholder farmers with enhance seeds, training, fertilizer, all the inputs, financing, that smallholder farmers need to be able to significantly increase their yields on their farms, and their incomes. And this partnership will have a particular focus on youth and women who are often marginalized in the process. So we're delighted to be able to do that. 

QUESTION: Is this just the beginning or do you intend to continue investing in business? 

DEPUTY ADMINISTRATOR ISOBEL COLEMAN: Thank you for the question. Yes, it is just the beginning. We anticipate a long relationship, not only with Pyxus, but with many other private sector companies here in Malawi. Our program here is to partner with 25 private sector companies. So, to really replicate what we're doing with Pyxus, with many other firms that are going to help stimulate economic growth. Private sector is really the engine of economic growth here. And we're working closely with the private sector, and also with the government of Malawi, to make sure that they are continuing the reforms that they need to make to be an attractive place for investments here in Malawi. 

QUESTION:  How would you describe the current environment as far as attraction of all private sector investment in Malawi?

DEPUTY ADMINISTRATOR ISOBEL COLEMAN: I think that Malawi has tremendous potential and an opportunity to attract more investment and to be a place that companies are looking at – in the agricultural sector, of course, but in other sectors too, so we are hopeful and optimistic.

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