Blantyre — Government has reiterated its commitment towards ensuring the country retains its food security status through irrigation farming.
Minister for Agriculture and Water Development, Joseph Mwanamvekha made the commitment on Wednesday during the official commissioning of Bwanje Irrigation Scheme in the area of Traditional Authority Nkhulambe in Phalombe.
"Malawi's economy is still agro based and as a ministry we will work hard to ensure that households are food secure hence programs such as FISP and irrigation farming so that people are able to produce enough even for export," said Mwanamvekha.
Mwanamvekha said Malawi cannot solely depend on rain fed farming as history has shown that the country experiences drought almost each and every year that affects farming as a result of climate change.
"If households adopt irrigation farming they will be assured of harvesting at least twice a year that will lead to the households having food and money for household development throughout the whole year," he added.
He further said this is the reason government is working tirelessly to construct or rehabilitate irrigation schemes so that Malawians shift from depending solely on rain fed farming to irrigation even at subsistence farming level.
He then described Phalombe as the food basket for the southern region all because of the 20 irrigation schemes in the district which enable farmers to cultivate throughout the whole year.
Speaking earlier Traditional Authority Nkhulambe expressed gratitude to government over the irrigation scheme in her area saying it will go a long way in ensuring food security and development for her subjects.
She said her area has a number of streams that are now being used to irrigate the schemes unlike in the past where the same streams were being underutilized.
The Bwanje Irrigation Scheme which is 250 hectares, has been constructed with funds from World Bank and African Development Bank.