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New irrigation technology to boost crop production

Expectations are high that crop production will be enhanced in the country following the launch of a new irrigation technology by the Agriculture Trading Company Limited (ATC). The technology uses solar power and has been christened Maji Pump.

The pump was launched in Lilongwe recently and has been developed to enhance crop production among small scale farmers with expectations to move them from subsistence to commercial farming.

ATC General Manager, Madalitso Jelenje, said that the company has partnered with the developers of the technology from the United States of America and will be operating as distributors of the technology.

“We are a Malawian-owned company and we deal directly with the farmers. We provide a number of solutions such as inputs and agro-chemicals. We know our farmers and how to reach them. We are hoping that the pump will have a lot of buy in among the famers because it is user friendly and cost effective,” Jelenje said.

The innovation was developed by Ego-Tech from the United States and its representative, Brian Lilly, said that the technology has already been taken up by small scale farmers in countries in the region such as Kenya.

“The main thing about any solar powered pump is, once you purchase the system, there are no recurring costs. You do not spend money on fuel. This particular pump is unique because there are no batteries, the pump runs right off the solar panel.

“In Malawi, there is a lot of water near the surface, which is a great asset and the sunshine is a lot and the system should last for 20 years with a payback of one season,” Lilly said.

He, however, indicated that the innovation has only one disadvantage as it cannot work in the absence of sunlight.

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