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Mwomboshi Irrigation Scheme

The Mwomboshi project site is in the southern part of Central Province in Chisamba District located to the east of the Great North Road linking Zambia with Tanzania and about 65-80kms by good tar and gravel roads north-east of Lusaka. The main railway line linking Lusaka with the north of Zambia runs along the eastern boundary of the project area.

Mwomboshi site comprises about 5,107 ha on the left bank of the Mwomboshi River and the site is composed of four distinct villages (Kalimina, Hankwa, Toba, and Malama) on customary land under the administration of Chief Liteta.


IDSP is developing 1,580 hectares of land which is broken down into:

·         Tier 1 – 451 Ha-For Small Scale Farmers – 804 Plots of ? 0.50ha Furrow irrigation.

·         Tier 2 – 250 Ha-For Medium Scale Farmers – 174 Plots of ? 1.35ha Sprinklers plus 5 small C.P. of 19.4 ha.

·         Tier 3 – 880 Ha-For Commercial Farmers – 17 CP Ranging from 32ha to 52ha

The project area comprises a mix of traditional farmers and some small- and large-scale farmers. The land use is equally split north/south in the area about the Mwomboshi River with small scale/traditional farmers to the north of the river and large and medium scale farmers to the south. Small scale farmers grow mostly rainfed crops (estimated at 3,150 ha) with some small scattered areas (30 ha) put to irrigation using small pumps and residual moisture. Individuals may have approximately 10 ha to utilise but will only crop 2 ha within the 10-ha due to annual fallow rotations practiced. Six communities are involved which include some 650 farm families and about 5,000 people. The main crops grown are cotton, legumes, vegetables (cabbages, tomatoes, and onions), green mealies and maize.

The area surrounding the Mwomboshi dam is well served with road infrastructure to be able to access Lusaka. The distance to Lusaka from the project area is about 70kms and the traveling time is about 1 hour. There is good tarred road access from Chisamba town to Lusaka. The road from Chisamba town to the project area is a good gravel road which is maintained by large-scale farmers. A bridge over the Mwomboshi River, downstream of the dam site, is being built which will help ensure access to the small-scale farming area. There is a small market and a Food Reserve Agency depot in Chisamba. The short distance and good road network currently in place mean that most of the market opportunities in Lusaka are available to the farmers.

The large-scale farmers have built good relations with the neighbouring smallholder farmers. The proximity to Chisamba means that many farm inputs are already available locally. There is an opportunity of joint inputs and outputs marketing between large and small farmers, and mechanized service provision by large-scale farmers to smallholders on a full cost recovery basis.