By Tiyese Monjeza:
Some farmers from the area of Traditional Kuntumanje in Zomba District have expressed optimism that they would be realising maximised farm produce following the completion of K123 million Tiyanjane solar-powered irrigation scheme in the area.
The project, which has been implemented by the Malawi government with support from United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) will enable small scale farmers embark on irrigation on a 11 hectare piece of land in Nyundo Village in the area.
In an interview after Zomba District Commissioner Smart Gwedemula inspected the site which is awaiting handover to the communities, Group Village Head Nyundo said coming of the project will allow farmers to embark on winter cropping.
“We have fertile land, but in the absence of irrigation equipment, we were failing to cultivate our crops during the dry season. This solar powered irrigation equipment will help us to scale up our crop production,” Group Village Nyundo said.
Gwedemula has since challenged the farmers to utilise the scheme by going commercial.
‘The project cost a lot of money and we expect them to take good care of the equipment and even venture into agribusiness. They should use this project to transform their lives and become economically empowered,’ Gwedemula said.
The initiative is part of a five-year UNDP sponsored project dubbed ‘Transform’ being implemented in Zomba, Machinga and Balaka districts.
The project is aimed at tackling low resilience to disaster and enhancing investments using nature-based solutions.