The New Minister of Agriculture Mr Rauben Mtolo Phiri had his first-ever field visit since his appointment to the Completed Mwomboshi Irrigation Scheme in Chisamba District, Central Province.
Speaking when he visited the Irrigation
Scheme, the Minister indicated that the Mwomboshi Irrigation Scheme would be
handed over to the farming community as soon as possible. The Minister who
could not hide his excitement said he was impressed with the successful
completion of the scheme by contractor Anhui Foreign Economic Construction
(Group) Co., Ltd (AFECC) two months ahead of schedule, and that government will
work towards replicating the idea in other provinces.
Mr PHIRI said “with irrigation facilities such as the Mwomboshi Irrigation Scheme, Food Insecurity would be a thing of the past” and he urged farmers in the area to guard the irrigation scheme jealously.
The Irrigation Development Support Project (IDSP) National Project Coordinator Eng. Daniel Chamba said that the Mwomboshi Irrigation Scheme is a success that will work as an example for all many irrigation projects in the Country. Eng. Chamba submitted that the construction of the Mwomboshi Scheme is complete. All that is remaining is the commissioning of the site and officially handing over the site to the Operator and the Mwomboshi Community.
Further, the Mwomboshi Community Land Trust (CLT) Chairperson Mr John Foto informed the Minister that the farmers in the Mwomboshi area are happy with the irrigation scheme. As such, he committed that the beneficiaries will work hard to ensure that the production of crops would be all year round.
The Mwomboshi Irrigation Scheme construction is being implemented by the Ministry of Agriculture through the Irrigation Development Support Project (IDSP), which in turn is funded by the World Bank. IDSP in Mwomboshi is targeting over 8,500 direct beneficiaries organised into 33 Water User Groups (WUGs). To date, 749 small-scale farmers have been allocated Tier I plots of approximately 0.25 hectares each to undertake intensive irrigated agriculture production.
IDSP has also constructed 230 housing units and resettled all eligible Project Affected Persons (PAPs) while monetary compensation amounting to ZMW16,521,274.00 was provided to about 608 households out of which 277 are Female-Headed Households.
Other achievements by IDSP at the Mwomboshi Irrigation Scheme include:
a) 35 boreholes drilled and equipped to provide domestic water benefiting 2,160 people;
b) 20km of the main feeder roads were constructed in addition to the 30km of access roads to the scheme plots; and
c) 33kV Electricity power line was erected from Chisamba Boma spanning over a distance of 35km to provide electricity supply to the scheme.