Dedza, August, 2019: Minister of Agriculture Irrigation and Water Development, Kondwani Nankhumwa has said government is committed to ending food insecurity in the country by promoting irrigation farming and Fertilizer Input Subside Programme (FISP).
He was speaking on Thursday in Dedza when he officially opened Tchanga irrigation scheme which has been constructed with funding from European Union (EU) in the area of Traditional Authority (TA) Kachindamoto in the district.
"Government has prioritized irrigation development as one of the key drivers of economic growth and development. Since irrigation over the years has contributed significantly to food and nutrition security at both household and national level," he said.
Nakhumwa commended EU for supporting implementation of irrigation projects, including construction of Bwanje dam in the district, which he said was necessary for improved and sustained agricultural productivity.
EU's Team Leader for Sustainable Agriculture, Beatrice Neri said irrigation is very key to Malawi as many of the small holder farmers depend on rain-fed agriculture which is seasonal and comes with its own challenges hence the support.
"EU has invested €69 million which goes to two main components of operationalization of the Agriculture Sector Wide Approach (ASWAP) and irrigation, both medium scale irrigation schemes and one large scale Bwanje dam," she explained.
Neri said people around the area were only irrigating 11 hectares of land but with the construction of the scheme, they were able to irrigate up to 154 hectares, benefiting 308 farming households.
Chairperson for the scheme, Ludoviko Gomora expressed gratitude to EU for funding the project saying it would go a long way in uplifting the lives of people around the area in terms of food availability.
The Tchanga irrigation scheme project has cost €2.5 million.