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Gift of the Givers hands over irrigation schemes

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Gift of the Givers on Wednesday handed over Sagonja and Nankuyu irrigation schemes to farmers in Traditional Authority (TA) Chigalu in Blantyre and TA Likoswe in Chiradzulu respectively worth K64.1 million.

The schemes have a combined irrigation area of 20 hectares on which farmers are growing maize, beans and peas.

One of the farmers Lewis Mambo said the schemes will help them end poverty and be food secure.

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“Before the construction of the irrigation schemes, we suffered from food insecurity and poverty when we receive erratic rains. We could not even send our children to school,” he said.

Gift of the Givers Country Director Abdul Gaffar Jakhura said his organisation is implementing the project as one way of complementing government’s efforts in eradicating hunger.

He noted that adverse weather conditions including erratic rainfall patterns have adverse effects on the country’s agro-based economy.

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“The levels of poverty in the country are worsened by our overdependence on rain-fed agriculture. We got the funding from the Japanese government to drill boreholes and to construct these irrigation schemes so that they grow various crops at a sustainable level,” he said.

Japanese Ambassador to Malawi Kae Yanagisawa hailed Gift of the Givers for the initiative.

She expressed hope that Sagonja and Nankuyu irrigation schemes will help eradicate poverty among the locals.

“With rain-fed agriculture, farmers can only grow once but now they will be able to grow as much as three times. I understand that they are also making some savings to make the project sustainable when Gift of the Givers withdraw their support and that is encouraging,” she said.

Chiradzulu Central Member of Parliament Mohamed Hanif Osman hailed Gift of the Givers and the Republic of Japan for the projects which he said would help empower his constituents economically.

Osman urged the beneficiaries to take care of the infrastructure.

Last year, farmers at Nankuyu Irrigation Scheme realised K1.4 million from sales of green maize.

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