Cash strapped Malawi will get a $30 million credit from the  World Bank to shore up diversification from the maize and tobacco-based production systems, and engagement in more market oriented agriculture.

This is expected to enable 200,000 smallholder farmers improve their incomes and become more food secure. Agricultural diversification will also help Malawi improve its export base which is currently mainly based on tobacco.

Malawi has been reaping bumper maize harvests for the last five years thanks to the donor supported seed and fertilizer subsidy programme. But this may not be sustained if the subsidies behind the success dry up.

Malawi is expected to harvest 3.8 million tonnes this year, up from the 3.5 million the previous year, despite some dry periods during the season. This represents a surplus of 1.2 million tonnes.