Govt Commit to Increasing Irrigation Farming Hectarage Coverage
Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Agnes Nkusankhoma says more investment towards irrigation farming is crucial now if the country is to increase the capacity of the available 406 thousand hectares of land potential for irrigation.
Nkusankhoma claims with 136 thousand hectares of land currently utilized, efforts on the same are being stepped up as it has proven ideal in combating adverse climate change and has challenged rain-fed agriculture for decades.
"Government is working tirelessly in increasing the capacity of land meant for irrigation farming. With climate change challenging rain-fed agriculture, investing in irrigation farming is critical now," she said.
She said this in Ntcheu when appreciating agriculture interventions the district office there is promoting where smallholder farmers urged authority's to make irrigation equipment easily accessible.
Among the interventions include irrigation farming, livestock, and crop production.
A member of Namadidi Irrigation Scheme under Inkosi Makwangwala, John Ali says the 42 member scheme is struggling to complete developing the 28 hectares of land available.
"Our scheme covers 28 hectares of land but only 22 hectares is being used. A lack of modernized equipment to pump more water for irrigating our crops is a challenge," he said.
According to the Ministry of Agriculture, the development of one-hectare land costs around US$ 10, 000 which is equivalent to over 8 Million Kwacha.