Minister Challenges GBA to Exploit Irrigation Potential
Minister of Agriculture Robin Lowe has challenged Green Belt Authority to leave up to its mandate of exploiting the potential of irrigation in the country for improved agricultural productivity.
He said this on Tuesday in Lilongwe at the signing of an MOU between Green Belt Authority and Maka Resources of Zimbabwe saying the country is failing to make use of all irrigable land and depend on rain-fed agriculture now challenged with the climate change.
"We have signed a lot of agreements, we have written a lot of documents and we have attended several workshops, but now we must start implementing projects in the irrigation sector and move away from dependence on rain-fed Agriculture if as a country we are to benefit," said Lowe.
He thus commended GBA for entering into an Agreement with a Zimbabwean company Maka Resources to help in boosting the irrigation sector and Agro-processing.
Meanwhile, Chief Executive officer for Maka Resources Innocent Sibande says his company is eyeing Wheat and Soya bean production among other crops for both local and international markets.
"Malawi has so much potential in as far as Agriculture and irrigation is concerned so we are bringing high-tech irrigation facilities, GreenBelt has a lot of lands and together we will exploit the potential together and feed our countries," Sibande said.
According to Sibande Malawi imports over 90 percent of wheat and that is another area they want to explore so that it is locally produced.
Acting Chief Executive officer for Green Belt Authority Amon Mluwira says through the partnership Authority will offer its land in Salima among other districts while the partner Maka will be responsible for the financing aspect.
"As Greenbelt Authority we have a lot of pieces of land suitable for Irrigation but what has been lacking is funding and our friends according to this agreement will help on the financing aspect," said Mluwira.
Malawi is currently only using 112, 000 hectares for irrigation out of about 408,000 hectares of irrigable land.