Malawi intensifies irrigation farming to increase agriculture production

Government through the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security says it is intensifying irrigation farming in the country in order to increase agriculture production and productivity.

Chiyembekeza admiring to one of the dams being used at Thyolansanu farm - pic by Gladys Kamakanda

Chiyembekeza admiring to one of the dams being used at Thyolansanu farm – pic by Gladys Kamakanda

Minister of Agriculture Dr Allan Chiyembekeza (c) being briefed on the Solar-powered irrigation - pic by Gladys Kamakanda

Minister of Agriculture Dr Allan Chiyembekeza (c) being briefed on the Solar-powered irrigation – pic by Gladys Kamakanda

This was disclosed by the minister responsible Dr Allan Chiyembekeza when he toured Thyolansanu Farm in in Namitete along Mchinji Road.

He said Malawi has been experiencing low crop production due to erratic rainfall patterns, dwindling water resources and other negative effects mainly caused by climate change. These factors are affecting national food security and the economy

“Government through the Ministry launched the National Irrigation Master Plan and Investment Framework. The Ministry has also revised the National Water Resources Master Plan which gives information on surface and groundwater availability,” said Chiyembekeza.

He said the Irrigation Master Plan and Investment plan provides guidance to all stakeholders in sustainable development and expansion of the irrigation sector over the coming 20 years (2015-2035).

Chiyembekeza explained that the plan highlights priority areas for development and investment; and, also arrangements for improved coordination in implementing irrigation programmes, management and capacity building.

He said the plan which is aimed at increasing the current area of 104 000 hectares by a total of 116 000 hectares is divided in three phases: Phase I (2015-2020), phase II (2021-2025) and Phase III (2026-2035) comprising approximately 20 000 hectares; 28 500 hectares; and 67500 hectares of new irrigation schemes, respectively.

“The total investment cost for the Plan is US$2.4 Billion. This comprises New Irrigation Development which will take US$1.1 Billion (46%); Irrigation management will take US$785 million; Capacity Building will take US$510 million; and, Coordination and Management will take US$21 million,” said Chiyembekeza.

He said implementation of the Plan requires good collaboration between and amongst various stakeholders in the irrigation sector in terms of resource mobilization and implementation.

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Keen Observer

Soldiers don’t give protection to ministers but PMF. Irrigation where do we come short cos we have everything. Where are the irrigation schemes Kamuzu had?

Kodi Musojayo

Woo,the minister now needs a soidier next to him!!! Who pays for all these expenses???

Nzelu nkupangwa
What a waste of money this would be-2.4 billion USD to dig ponds and non functional dams to breed mosquitoes and tadpoles- assuming you get it at all. Rather spend 1.2 USD into hydro power or coal power to produce 1000 megawats of electricity. Ethiopia and Uganda are doing that. Of the remaining money spend 500 Million to transmit the electricity into homes and the other getting water into peoples houses. Then those whith capacity to use the electricity to pump the water whereever the want to irrrigate on commercially. This will produce both adequate food and employ thousands of… Read more »
matako a pusi

Koma mesa amati boma lipanga company parastatal to do irrigation zili pati tikuyembekeza nthawi ya campaign zisankho?

Sad Huss Mthunzi-wa-Bowa
Sad Huss Mthunzi-wa-Bowa
Does intensifying irrigation mean selling all the irrigation pumps that were acquired as part of the now-defunct GreenBelt Initiative? If the government had continued with the Greenbelt project by using these pumps to supply water upland from Lake Malawi, then we would have said that it is intensifying on irrigation. Despite all the talk about irrigation, the area under irrigation has remained the same. Most of the vegetables and green maize sold on the market is from traditional irrigation. Farmers using their own inititives use watering cans to irrigate small dimba gardens. Most of these so-called irrigation schemes produce nothing.… Read more »

Did Thyola… farm benefit from a government programme? Otherwise all I read is about a plan.


There is no ministry of Agriculture and food security in Malawi. What I know is that we have ministry of Agriculture , Irrigation and water Development. Stay updated as atolankhani!!


Irrigation system is the key to reduce poverty in the country but our government is dum can not think. so it is true that they have sold land to foreigners coz surely they know that is best.


no wonder we have shire river filling up. you have to rethink the side effects of these irrigations


Intensifying irrigation agriculture through touring some ramshackle facilities? Hahahahaha!

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