By Chisomo Phiri
On Wednesday, the Minister of Agriculture Honourable Agnes NkusaNkhoma-MP visited Msengezi Irrigation Scheme in Traditional Authority T/A Kambwiri in Salima to touch a base with farmers.
During the visit, Nkusankhoma expressed her gratitude with the extensive irrigation farming that are farmers are committing to do at the scheme despite inadequate irrigation equipment.
“It is so encouraging that farmers really want to do irrigation farming extensively though there are limited and scarcity of irrigation equipment for the work to be done easily”, said Nkusankhoma.
The deputy Minister said despite the scarcity of some equipment, she is also very grateful to total land care which donated solar panels to farmers at the scheme.
“I am very optimistic that with the good working relationship we have with NGOs, we are to do more as evidenced here in Salima where total land care has given out our farmers’ solar panel so as to solve some of the challenges they were facing.
“This new donation of solar panels here at Msengezi scheme will continue changing people’s lives as they will scale up their living standards.
“With this solar powered irrigation equipment, farmers will now be able to plant thrice in a year and this will help in achieving three meals a day which our President, His Excellency Dr. Lazarus Chakwera, the President of the Republic of Malawi wants”, She said.
Nkusankhoma said as a Ministry these engagements with Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) will help them to have firsthand information on what farmers want and promised to continue working tirelessly in engaging relevant stakeholders who are in agriculture sector to help the Ministry implement irrigation Master Plan.
According to her, the irrigation Master Plan shows that the Ministry has a potential of doing irrigation at over 400,000 hectares land in only 150,000 hectares has been used and promise to work tirelessly so as to maximize the production with the remaining 250,000 hectares.