Deforestation along Domasi River in Machinga district is a major challenge to Domasi Irrigation Scheme since it is resulting in low rice yield.
Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation, and Water Development Allan Chiyembekeza made the remarks during a visit to the scheme.
Chiyembekeza said wanton cutting down of trees by the farmers is the reason for low rice production at the irrigation scheme.
“I have called upon all the farmers to stop cutting down trees so that the coming season they should harvest more,” he said.
According to Chiyembekeza, Domasi scheme cannot go further with the irrigation if the acts continue to be practised at its main source of water.
The minister also visited Domasi prison where he saw the good fruits of irrigation farming.
Domasi prison commissioner, Clement Kainja, revealed that the prison mostly depends on the crops that are grown by inmates.
Domasi prison is among the prisons that were hit by a shortage of food as such they started irrigation farming to feed the inmates.
The prison has 13,000 prisoners and it only takes 6 percent of the harvest to feed the inmates.
Domasi prison grows crops such as beans and cassava among others and it also has a pond which is used for fish farming.