Government plans to replace treadle pumps with fuel pumps to boost small scale irrigation amidst climate change effects to enhance food security in the country.
Minister of Energy, Natural Resources and Mining, Bright Nsaka made the remarks during a developmental rally at Sekwele school ground in Zomba Chisi Constituency on Sunday.
Nsaka urged farmers to go into the fields where water is still running and plant crops that will mature quickly as a relief from the food shortages that the country will face as a result of dry spells in the district.
He said government is now advocating for irrigation farming as one of the several measures it will be taking to assist farmers who have been facing erratic rainfall.
“Government is planning to introduce fuel engines to replace the treadle pumps which experience has shown they are cumbersome to operate. The fuel pumps will boost small scale irrigation and contribute to food security in the country,” he said.
The Minister also assured the people that no one will die from hunger since the president has declared the country a state of disaster following the dry spells in some parts of the country and floods in some northern part districts.
Nsaka said the this coming parliament will debate on the food situation and allocate a special vote for funds in the disaster budget to deal with the situation while the donor community such as the World Food Programme will also assist.
He observed that Malawi is blessed with a huge mass of water that run across the country from the north to the south and has not been utilized for irrigation agriculture saying it is high time the country ventured into serious irrigation farming.
The Minister added that relying on seasonal agriculture has ended in catastrophe in recent years due to erratic rains and floods.
According to the crop estimates released through the Ministry of Agriculture, crop estimates for 2015/2016 farming season have gradually dwindled rendering almost 1.3Million households prone to hunger this year.
Nsaka also warned corrupt officials in the distribution of food relief items and at the ADMARC maize selling points that government will pursue them until justice is done calling on chiefs and all committees to take action by reporting to relevant authorities any malpractices.
Member of Parliament for the area (Zomba Chisi) Mark Botomani said he has engaged the chiefs in the area to oversee the proceedings at ADMARC depots.
Botomani also assured the minister that he will spearhead development through the local governance structure in his area.
He however, bemoaned the absence of a government health facility in the area saying work on the construction site has stalled for many years.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :