By Aubrey Kashoni
Thyolo, Mana: At least 1, 990 families from Traditional Authorities (TAs) Bvumbwe and Ngolongoliwa in Thyolo district are expected to benefit from 17 irrigation schemes out of which five schemes are under rehabilitation while 12 are expected to be constructed by January 2022.
In an interview with Malawi News Agency (Mana) on Monday, Thyolo District Irrigation Officer, Mathews Mwalwanda said the planning and designing stages of the schemes are currently underway.
He said once completed, the schemes would provide more food to people surrounding the schemes, saying the development would help in attaining food security at household and community levels.
“We have already designed 10 irrigation schemes and the other two; Nachipere and Mphenzu are still at the designing stage. Other five schemes are to be rehabilitated soon and one of them will be completed by November 2021,” Mwalwanda added.
The Irrigation Officer said all the 17 schemes namely; Manthimba, Namadidi, Nkaya, Mwayiwathu, Lower Mgulula, Kabango, Msungamwana, Mwabvi, Ching’onong’ono, Mankhalambazo, Ndongo 2, Matcheza, Kapota, Tikondane, Nachipere, Milonga and Mphedzu are within traditional authorities Bvumbwe and Ngolongoliwa.
One of the beneficiaries, Eliah Chirwa from TA Bvumbwe said the plan of constructing and sustaining irrigation schemes in their area would be beneficial to the farmers, noting that it would boost and transform agricultural practices.
“These schemes upon completion will improve food security because people will be able to cultivate and harvest twice a year instead of only relying on rain-fed agriculture. This is also important because Bvumbwe is well known for irrigation farming.
“This system of irrigation will boost our agri-business activities since we are expecting to cultivate large fields that will serve for commercial purposes as well,” he said.
The Project has been pegged at K400 million and is being funded by Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Adventist Development and Relief Agency, Department of Disaster Management Affairs, Sisters of Charity of Ottawa and some funds from Other Recurrent Transactions.