The Malawi Government has stressed its commitment to ensuring food security in the country through investment in irrigation farming by constructing and rehabilitating irrigation schemes nationwide.
Minister of Agriculture and Food Security Honourable Francis Kasaila, MP, said this when he toured Kanjedza and Salankhuku irrigation schemes in Phalombe currently under construction.
The Minister said: “Government intends to put more land under irrigation farming so that farmers can be able to grow crops all year long to ensure food security.”
Kasaila added that the irrigation schemes are among the programmes government has put in place to enable communities to be self sufficient in terms of food besides being economically empowered.
Kanjedza and Salankhuku Irrigation schemes covers a total of 180 hectares and is being rehabilitated at a cost of MWK529 million and MWK641 million respectively.
Over 500 farming families have benefited from the project and are growing crops such as maize, beans, rice, tomatoes and leafy vegetables.
One of the farmers who is a beneficiary of the irrigation scheme project at Salankhuku, George Kadzuwa, said the scheme has improved livelihoods among community members in the area as they are now able to grow a variety of crops for both household use and commercial activity.
Kadzuwa commended government for the initiative to rehabilitate and construct irrigation schemes in the district, thereby giving the farmers an edge in farming.
Programme Manager for Fisd Limited, Ray Mwenitete, whose company is undertaking the construction works for both irrigation schemes and road construction, explained that within six months of civil works the schemes will be handed over to the communities for use in October 2020.
The two irrigation schemes are part of Agriculture Commercialization (Agcom) project under Contingency Emergency Response Component (CERC) which is focusing on rehabilitation of irrigation schemes and road networks for commercial farming in several districts across the country.