Greenbelt Authority unveils a multimillion irrigation project in Karonga

Karonga: In a bid toboost rice production in the country, Greenbelt Authority is to embark on the construction of a multimillion kwacha Nthora-Illora-Ngosi Irrigation Project in Karonga.

Speaking Tuesday during a District Executive Committee (DEC) meeting in Karonga, Greenbelt Authority Executive Director, Henrie Njoloma said the project which would cost about K800 million for 1,000 hectares of rice fields.

We have finished consultations meeting with stakeholders on the project and construction works will commence soon

We have planned that we should have the design of the scheme within a period of six months and determine the appropriate type of irrigation that will be used, he told the meeting.

Njoloma said the water for the scheme would be drawn from Lake Malawi, describing the water body as the most sustainable source of water.

Karonga District Council Chairperson, Harry Mwanyembe said there is need for the authority to also consider linking the would be rice growers on the scheme to markets.

He said currently, rice growers in the district do not have sustainable markets.

You have to identify markets for the rice for the scheme to be of benefit to the country. Farmers in Karonga have the capacity to produce rice that can meet export standards, Mwanyembe disclosed.

In his response, Njoloma said the authority will engage a private partner within the project concept to promote the marketing component.

Karonga District is on the district which is well known for rice production, he added.

Source: Malawi News Agency MANA