Ministry satisfied with SVADD Irrigation Schemes

Blantyre, Director of Agriculture Extension Services recently commended Shire Valley Agricultural Development Division (SVADD) Irrigation Schemes for what he described as impressive work in their efforts of enhancing food security.

Speaking in Chikwawa, Jerome Chim’gonda Nkhoma made the commendation in Chikwawa during a field visit to Limphangwi and Mulunga schemes under Shire Valley ADD.

What I have seen during the visits to the schemes relates to what the ministry relays. There is quite a lot of diversification where we saw a number of crops being grown in each site.

I am also impressed in terms of irrigation practices and crop development because our message is to grow crops more than once a year for us to improve food security, said Nkhoma.

He said what the farmers in the schemes are doing demonstrates good practices with regards to adopting new technologies and messages the ministry has been disseminating to the farmers across the country.

In addition, the farmers are also doing quite well in soil and environmental management. There is a lot of use of manure as well as conservation agriculture, he added.

Shire Valley ADD Programme Manager, Taurayi Mlewah attributed the success to concerted efforts among various partners who work together to promote food security in the division.

Under the Sustainable Development Goal Number 17, there is encouragement for partnership among stakeholders, hence the coming in of stakeholders like Islamic Relief Malawi, Evangelical Lutheran and IRLAD among others.

The Islamic Relief Malawi has built canals and weirs here at Limphangwi and Mulunga Irrigation Schemes, said Mlewah.

He, however, disclosed that a number of schemes needed rehabilitation as they had their weirs damaged due to floods.

Most of the schemes faced the wrath of the floods resulting into damaged weirs in schemes like Limphangwi, Masenjere and Likhubula, as such, there is need for huge investments in order to rehabilitate them, said Mlewah.

Islamic Relief Malawi Country Representative, Sherifa Mia said they were happy with how farmers use the skills they have been trained in, in the two schemes.

Through Sustainable Agriculture, Water Supply and Climate Change Adaption Project, farmers have been supported with infrastructure for the irrigation system where we built cement canals, thereby allowing water to reach their fields efficiently.

Our main focus has also been capacity building to farmers, so from the beginning we have had a lot of trainings ranging from governance, irrigation farming and fish farming to environmental protection, said Mia.

Source: MANA Online