Chiyembekeza clarifies remarks on irrigation

Allan Chiyembekeza

Chiyembekeza; We ware working.

Malawi’s Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development Allan Chiyembekeza has clarified his recent remarks in which he implied that few people would choose to grow maize using irrigation farming.

Speaking to a local media outlet last week, Chiyembekeza said proponents of irrigation do not know what they are talking about because the country has produced bumper yields using rain-fed agriculture since Farm Input Subsidy Programme started 11 years ago.

The remarks were widely condemned by different stakeholders in the agriculture sector.

However, this week the minister told the media that government is still considering irrigation as a viable means of agriculture production in the country.

He said people living in areas which are near rivers should be using the rivers for irrigation to reduce food shortage. Chiyembekeza mentioned areas located near Shire River as an example of places where irrigation can be done.

The minister also encouraged farmers to continue with irrigation farming and promised to provide means of connecting with the private sector so that they can help assist in irrigation initiatives.

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