Greenbelt Authority board chairperson Wester Peter Kosamu says government will launch mega farms at Nkhwazi, Nyamithambo and Mwananjobvu schemes in Chikwawa District.
Nkhwazi and Nyamithambo schemes, located in Senior Chief Ngabu and Mwananjobvu in Traditional Authority (T/A) Ngowe, were abandoned because Nchalo Greenbelt Authority Limited owed employees K80 million.
But in an interview on Monday, Kosamu said the authority has since paid the employees their arrears.
He commended President Lazarus Chakwera through the Presidential Delivery Unit for settling the arrears on behalf of Nchalo Greenbelt Authority Limited.
“President Chakwera advised us to pay arrears and start employing workers for Nchalo Greenbelt Authority Limited, which runs the three schemes, as part of the mega farms project.
“This is the third phase of payment as on January 6 this year, we paid K44 million and in between we paid K3 million. Today, we are finalising the payment of K33 million.”
Kosamu said the mega farms are expected to grow crops such as maize, cotton, rice and sweet potatoes.
“We could not start working because we owed our employees arrears,” he said.
One of the employees, Janet Bauti from Mwananjobvu Village in T/A Ngowe, thanked government for settling the arrears.
Another employee, Maxwell Mateang’anga, from Sekeni Village in Paramount Chief Lundu’s area asked government to compensate them for spending three years without receiving their arrears.
T/A Ngowe said the money will be used to repair their homes destroyed by tropical storms Ana and Gombe earlier this year.
“Greenbelt Authority project will end food insecurity because people fail to harvest as the district often experiences either drought or floods.
“I ask the new management of Nchalo Greenbelt Authority Limited to manage funds well so that the President should not shoulder the burden of paying arrears in future,” said Ngowe.