Zomba farmers challenged on irrigation farming


By Synd Kalimbuka

Farmers in Zomba have been challenged to take irrigation farming as a tool for eradicating hunger in the district.

District Commissioner Dr Smart Gwedemula made the remarks during supervision of a K 123 million Tiyanjane solar powered irrigation scheme which has been completed and is awaiting official hand over at village Headman Nyundo in the area of Traditional Authority Kumtumanji in the district.

Gwedemula urged communities in the area to make full use of the scheme which government through UNDP has constructed to make the area and entire district a hunger free zone.

“It time for community members to rise up and take part in making sure that the area is food secure through the efficiency use of the Solar powered irrigation system,” Gwedemula said.

He further pleaded with them to be committed in making sure that they grow crops which will be able to sell and transform their Households.

He, however, expressed concerns over some communities who don’t make use of such initiatives saying his office will be implementing such interventions in the areas where people has interest and upon request.

The Commissioner also advised communities to jealously guard this investment against any form of vandalism so that it sustain for future generations.

Director of Agriculture, Environment and Natural Resources Isaac Ali said to transform people’s livelihoods, the main interest will be on growing high valued crops.

On types of crops to be on use, Ali said he is yet to sit down with communities and find out   types of crops to be growing.

Village Headman Nyundo welcomed the initiative by government saying this is the beginning of changing lives of people in the area from poverty to prosperity.

Nyundo said the villagers have already set up a security team which will make sure that the who system is protected.

Over 120 farmers are expected to benefit from the 11 hectares scheme.

Previously, communities were using shallow wells and others treadle pumps to irrigate their crops in the area.

The solar powered irrigation system has been constructed by Transform project with funding from UNDP.

The project serves as a 2-year bridge project from previous Adapt Plan by UNDP/GEF.

The project is expected to contribute to community resilience though among others enhancing investments in a climate resilient infrastructure for economic empowerment including natural based solutions.

Currently, the project is being implemented in T/A Kumtumanji, Malemia and Nkumbira