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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8 thoughts on “Mutharika’s SONA highlights plans to improve Malawi agriculture  sector”

  1. chithope says:

    kulankhula mkompweka koma kukwanilitsa kumafunika nzeru

  2. Amin Mandiri says:

    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 little amounts of water available to irrigate and feed their nation. Why don’t we?

    Now is the time to act. We have Lake Malawi running two thirds of the country and Shire River finishing the other third, meaning that Malawi has water resources through the long stretch of our country and yet we say we need rain to produce food. What rain, my foot…….? Malawians, and especially the Government, let us wake up. We are a blessed nation, full of natural resources that we are not utilizing, probably because we so lazy to acknowledge that we just have to utilize the water resources in order to feed our nation and export to other countries. Do we need a prophesy to spell it out to us like ” PEOPLE OF MALAWI, THOU SHALT USE THE LIQUID THAT FLOWS IN LAKE MALAWI WHICH I HAVE GIVEN UNTO YOU AND IT IS CALLED WATER. THOU SHALT USE IT, AND SIMILARLY THAT WHICH FLOWS IN THE RIVERS THEREIN, SUCH AS SHIRE, RUO, RUKURU AND BUA AND YOU SHALL PLANT CROPS SUCH AS MAIZE, MILLET, CASSAVA, SORGHUM AND OTHERS OF THE FOOD VALUE AND THOU SHALT FEED THY NATION. VERILY,VERILY I SAY UNTO YOU, LEADERS OF THE BLESSED NATIONS OF THE WORLD LIKE MALAWI, THY PEOPLE SHALT STARVE AT THY PERIL BECAUSE OF THY LACK OF WISDOM AND DISCERNMENT, AND THOU SHALT BE ACCOUNTABLE TO THEIR DEMISE BY STARVATION.” Abale, tiyeni tipeze njira zogwiritsa ntchito madziwa kuti tilime zakudya zokwanira dziko lathu lonse. If Nchalo and Dwangwa can irrigate sugarcanes throughout the year, and produce sugar that feeds the country and for export, why can we not do the same to irrigate food crops. Or is a deliberate policy that the more people starve, the bigger the vote for promises of food security, which unfortunately are never fullfilled. If we don’t do anything with this water, God will judge us for being stupid, and letting many people die of hunger, when we could save them. What I am saying is, with the help of the Government and the private sector, Let us “USE THE WATER IN LAKE MALAWI AND THE BIG RIVERS TO IRRIGATE FOOD CROPS. Just FOOD for thought.

  3. kunda says:

    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

  4. Merv says:

    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 exists in Malawi. The average “Warm Hearts of Malawi” are beautiful people and deserve better than poverty and the pains of hunger that dominates their life.

  5. Tione Phiri says:

    Yausiru!

  6. BOKHO says:

    Zaziiii madzi eni eni. Kuba basi

  7. The Photographer's Camera says:

    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.

  8. Ba says:

    BOMA IYO.

Comments are closed.