- Category: Parliament Track
- Written by Phillip Pemba
Malawi Government is remaining with about 10 percent of work to complete rehabilitation of Likangala Irrigation Scheme in Zomba which was built to improve rice production and livelihood of over 2 000 beneficiaries.
Government is rehabilitating the scheme through the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security under the Irrigation, Rural Livelihoods and Agricultural Development Project (Irladp) project with funding from World Bank and International Fund for Agricultural Development (Ifad).
Minister of Agriculture and Food Security Professor Peter Mwanza on Tuesday said government has intensified rehabilitation works at the scheme.
He, however, said he needed more time to get specific details on when they would complete the remaining works.
A progress report on rehabilitation works at the scheme as at the end of 2012 shows that farmers at the scheme are already growing rice.
Likangala Complex Irrigation Scheme consists of the main scheme (Likangala) and four sub schemes of Chiliko, Segula, Njala and Khanda. Irladp started work at the scheme in 2006.
In the 2011/12 National Budget, government allocated about K3.095 billion to Irladp to, among others, rehabilitate 922 hectares of several irrigation schemes and develop additional 705 hectares of small-scale schemes.
Recently, World Bank approved additional financing amounting to $12.7 million (about K4.445 billion) and a further $50 million (about K17.5 billion) towards Irladp to increase agricultural productivity of poor households in all districts and strengthen institutional capacity for long-term irrigation development.
“Whereas Khanda scheme is located in the area of Traditional Authority [T/A] Nkagula, the other four irrigation schemes are located in the area of T/A Mwambo with a total area of 602 hectares and 2 121 beneficiaries.
“The total cost of the rehabilitation works is $1.043 million (about K365 million). All the original rehabilitation works and 90 percent of the addendum works have been completed,” reads the progress report in part.
Major works at the scheme include rehabilitation of intake headworks, drainage canals, access and farm roads, building structures, and flood protection dykes, according to the report.
“Originally, the Likangala main scheme was built on public land and it has so far been regarded as a government scheme; managed and maintained by government. Under Irladp, these schemes will be completely handed over to farmers for management under a duly signed and legal irrigation management agreement.
“The schemes grow mainly rice in the main growing season from December to May and a mixture of rice and other crops such as maize in the dry season,” adds the progress document.
Government has also facilitated formation of water users associations (WUAs) for the five schemes under Likangala complex and developed farm-based organisation responsible for marketing of rice from the schemes.