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Japan funds irrigation project

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The Government of Japan has approved a grant amounting to $86,298 (K 61 million), which will facilitate the construction of two borehole pumping irrigation facilities and irrigation canals in Blantyre and Chiradzulu districts.

The project will be implemented by Gift of the Givers Foundation.

The signing ceremony of the grant assistance, which is under the Grassroots Security Project, was held on Tuesday.

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Japanese Ambassador to Malawi, Shiuchiro Nishioka and Abdul Gaffar Jakhura, Chairperson of the Gift of the Givers Foundation, signed and exchanged contracts in the presence of Minister of Agriculture Allan Chiyembekeza.

In his remarks Nishioka said investing in agriculture provides an opportunity to facilitate economic growth, increase rural employment and enhance food security in rural areas.

“Our agricultural productivity cannot be boosted unless we modernise our agricultural production systems. In this regard, improving agriculture techniques and facilities is crucial, such as promotion of irrigated agriculture which is one of the key strategies of Malawi Growth and Development Strategies,” Nishioka said.

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He said that is why Japan decided to help the farmers of Sagonja (Blantyre) and Nankuyu (Chiradzulu).

In his remarks, Chiyembekeza hailed the support Japan gives to Malawi.

“The Malawi government, through my ministry, cherishes deeply the continued development assistance which the Japanese government avails to agriculture, irrigation and water sectors,” Chiyembekeza said Jakhura said the project will help in easing the problems associated with the country’s impending hunger.

“The establishment of these two projects will bring out a great deal of relief to communities, especially this year in which the El Nino weather phenomenon has brought about erratic rainfalls, leading to uncertainty and misery in the farming communities due to the prolonged dry spells. In some areas, this has resulted in wilting of maize and other crops,” he said.

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