Farmers Need Solar Pumps In Mangochi
Farmers in Traditional Authority Makanjira, Mangochi have asked agriculture office to provide Solar pumps for irrigation farming at Chia Scheme to benefit poor communities.
Speaking to Radio Islam one of the members Benard Phiri said they have been practicing irrigation farming from 2015 but communities are not seeing the fruits due to lack of modern equipment.
Phiri said agriculture office provided them two diesel engines to use in pumping water from Lake Malawi to the scheme which is very expensive to manage as the villagers are very poor.
“The engines have consumed diesel worth over 3 million kwacha which the members have been contributing. Last month we managed to get 10 bags of maize each which is very worrisome when considering the money spent,” Phiri explained
He added that the members are not well trained on irrigation farming hence affecting their production.
However, Phiri said the scheme requires Solar Pumps worth 20 million kwacha for the farmers to grow more crops.
Reacting district agriculture development officer Owen Kumwenda said the scheme was part of government interventions to assist the community in tradition authority Makanjira to bee food secure after the area was hit by floods.
Kumwenda acknowledged that using modernized diesel engines at the Scheme is not sustainable as the communities are poor.
He said “it is indeed the duty of agriculture office to source funds from donors to buy the solar pumps so that farmers enjoy the fruits of the Scheme.”
When asked on lack of skills in irrigation farming, Kumwenda said his office is aware and shall train the 200 members soon on how to manage the scheme for it to be beneficial to the communities.