Malawi’s Minister of Water Development and Irrigation Brown Mpinganjira on Wednesday launched the African Development Bank (AfDB) funded Small scale Irrigation and Value Addition Project (Sivap) in Machinga.
Under the project Zumulu Irrigation Scheme alongside other schemes in four other districts will be rehabilitated to improve crop production and farm income among beneficiaries.
Speaking at Chibwana Village, Traditional Authority (T/A) Mlomba, Mpinganjira said government is rehabilitating irrigation schemes, opening new irrigation sites where there are potential for irrigation farming as a way of reducing poverty in line with the Millennium Development Goals (MdgS) on food security.
The minister said the way to get out of poverty is to intensify irrigation farming which should enable smallholder farmers to harvest twice or more per year.
He, however, asked communities around the irrigation site to avoid vandalising and stealing irrigation equipment as this is counterproductive to efforts to deal with food insecurity.
Apart from Machinga, Sivap will also be implemented in Karonga, Nkhotakota, Salima and Chikhwawa where 3 345 hectares will be under irrigation, thus targeting 11 368 farm families out of which 5 600 will be female headed families.
According to Principal Secretary in the Water Development and Irrigation Ministry, Erica Maganga, Sivap’s goal is to contribute to poverty reduction and sustainable food security for beneficiaries by increasing crop production and diversification including developing high value chains.
AfDB representative, Andrew Mwaba said the bank is encouraged by women participation in most of the bank’s funded projects.
He, therefore, pledged continued assistance to sustainable projects in water and irrigation sectors.
Currently, AfDB is financing projects under the National Water Development Programme in Machinga, Lilongwe, Zomba and Mulanje where rehabilitation of gravity water fed intakes and entire gravity fed water schemes, borehole rehabilitation and drilling of new boreholes are taking place.