Mutharika’s SONA highlights plans to improve Malawi agriculture  sector

President Prof. Peter Mutharika Friday outlined various plans government is going to implement in the 2016/ 17 fiscal year with much emphasis on improving the agricultural sector which is the country’s economic pillar.

Speaker of Parliament welcomes President Peter Mutharika  to Parliament (C)govati Nyirenda, mana (1

Speaker of Parliament welcomes President Peter Mutharika to Parliament (C)govati Nyirenda, mana (1

President Peter Mutharika (C) pose for a group photograph with members of Parliament - Pic by Stanley Makuti

President Peter Mutharika (C) pose for a group photograph with members of Parliament – Pic by Stanley Makuti

While delivering a State of National Address at Parliament Building in Lilongwe, Mutharika said among others, government will prioritize the irrigation system with the aim of boosting crop production and by that way reduce prolonged hunger crisis.

The President said Malawi as a country is blessed with adequate   fresh water and irrigatable land but blamed lack of seriousness and failure to set out effective plans by the system to eradicate the problem.

He stressed that time has come for the country to stop relying on rain fed agriculture which posed a major threat for the country’s economic growth.

“Agriculture remains one of the key priorities for government because of its significance to our economy.  However looking at the 2015/ 16 growing season, the year was badly affected by adverse weather conditions caused by the El Niño hen omen on which negatively affected crop production including maize the staple food.

“Maize production declined by 12.4% in the 2015/ 16 growing season. And as a result of this, government will therefore continue to place highest priority on the sector to ensure both national and house old food security as well as support agro industries,” the President explained.

He highlighted that government has since launched the US$2.4 billion Irrigation Master Plan and Investment Framework which will guide the expansion of the irrigation sub-sector by 116,000 hectares.

Some of the major projects under this framework includes; Shire Valley Irrigation, Bwanje Scheme expansion, Songwe River and the Green belt Initiative Schemes.

“We have completed construction of seven solar pump irrigation schemes covering an area of about 780 hectares under the Agriculture Infrastructure Support Project, and 150 hectares under the Climate Adaptation for Rural Livelihoods and Agriculture Project in Karonga, Neno, Chikhwawa and Nsanje.

“Furthermore, government has completed maintenance of old government irrigation schemes in Karonga , Nkhotakota and Machinga and over 400 hectares were developed for gravity fed irrigation in Blantyre, Thyolo and Phalombe districts,” Mutharika said emphasizing that his government will continue to also  procure  treadle pumps and develop  dams and boreholes to reduce dependence on rain.

The President was optimistic that with the irrigation system in place, Malawi will no longer experience food shortage and ask for food assistance.

Apart from the irrigation, the President said government is further going to encourage crop diversification so that should one crop fail, people may find relief in others which have done better.

“We will from this year also start providing ADMARC and the National Food Reserve Agency (NFRA) with adequate resources to purchase maize and other crops in preparedness for unforeseen calamities

In addition, government has also invited interested private sector investors to undertake commercial irrigation farming in order to boost maize production beginning this year.

The programme will also involve medium -scale farmers and small holder farmers to either utilize their existing irrigation facilities or rent unutilized irrigable land.

Government has since guaranteed that it will buy all the maize produced through the National Food Reserve Agency.

British Ambassador to Malawi, Michael Nervin commended the President for identifying irrigation system saying it is the only way for the country to develop.

“What I wanted to hear is how the country is going to improve its agricultural sector, I am glad to hear the President say that government will intensify the irrigation system,” said Nervin in brief.

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chithope
Guest
4 months 6 days ago

kulankhula mkompweka koma kukwanilitsa kumafunika nzeru

Amin Mandiri
Guest
Amin Mandiri
4 months 6 days ago
I usually do not comment on stories about our country, but today, I am compelled to say something that I believe reasonable people have also thought about, only that they have not aired it out publicly. Our country has experienced spells of drought for a number of years and it seems like we have no solution in sight. But wait a minute, why do we say we have drought when we have water around us. Seriously? Egypt is largely a desert, so is Israel and other neighbouring countries, yet they do not beg for food. Why? Because they use the… Read more »
kunda
Guest
kunda
4 months 6 days ago

chonde chonde a president and members of parliament takambilananiko za madzi akumwa a mmizinda yathu Blantyre, zomba, lilongwe and mzuzu madzi akusowa kumakhala ngati mafuta agalimoto kuti mumayitanitsa kunja, chikhalirecho madzi akungokhala kunyanja yathu ( lake Malawi) chonde chonde ndagwira ndevu takambilanani zimenezi, osamangotenga ngongole zopanda phindu ku mmtundu wa a Malawi ayi tatengani ngongole yoketsa madzi kunyanja yathu kuti anthufe tizimwa

Merv
Guest
Merv
4 months 6 days ago
My wife (nurse) and I (educator), from Canada, had the privilege of living and working in Malawi for three years at the turn of this millennium and immediately recognized the many resources in the country. The one in particular (as obvious as the nose on the President’s face) was the fresh water lake that should have been harnessed for irrigation eons ago. We witnessed the abuse of power and incompetence of the self-serving political process in Malawi which still exists (remember cashgate?) If the political elite in executive apparel would remove their sunshades, they would have recognized the potential that… Read more »
Tione Phiri
Guest
Tione Phiri
4 months 7 days ago

Yausiru!

BOKHO
Guest
BOKHO
4 months 7 days ago

Zaziiii madzi eni eni. Kuba basi

The Photographer's Camera
Guest
The Photographer's Camera
4 months 7 days ago

Can anyone hear the picture saying “Here are the failures”?
Malawi could have been somewhere without these failures.
They are holding heads as if there is anything in them but nothing. Just empty heads.
Mulungu atithandize.

Ba
Guest
Ba
4 months 7 days ago

BOMA IYO.

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