Lowe challenges Shire Valley Irrigation project implementers on performance


Minister of Agriculture Lobin Lowe has challenged implementing partners for the Shire Valley Transformation Project to set performance indicators to ensure that the multibillion kwacha loan project materialises.

Lowe said the special key performance indicators are for   easy   progress tracking of the project.

He was speaking after inspecting construction works of the irrigation project at its intake point at Kapichira dam in Chikwawa on Sunday where he also challenged the implementing partners to emulate a similar project in Swaziland.

Lowe during the visit

He said setting Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for the project shall not only ensure that it is concluded within its projected time frame but also ensure that it does not flop.

Lowe said considering that the project is being financed through a loan which the country ought to repay, government cannot afford it to become another white elephant giving as an example the Nsanje world inland port which flopped.

He, nevertheless, touted the Shire Valley Transformation Project as being unique, capable of transforming the country into a breadbasket for Africa.

“Setting key performance indicators for the project shall help us track its progress at each and every level and also help us to match that progress with the amount of funds spent so far,” said Minister Lowe.

On his part, engineer for the project Martin Chizalema said so far they have constructed the intake point and about three kilometres stretch of the canal.

The Shire river irrigation project once fully implemented seeks to irrigate over 40 hectors of land through gravity fed canal that is to run from Kapichira dam up to Bangula in Nsanje and is expected to benefit over 233 thousand local farmers from the districts of Nsanje and Chikwawa.