Optimism is rife among Chitipa residents following the commencement of Misuku Road reconstruction which is expected to ease marketing of farm produce in the mountainous area.
Comprising construction of 13 kilometres (kms) of tarmac from Kalenge Bridge to Misuku, the upgrade of the 40km road, linking the country’s highest coffee producer with the Karonga-Chitipa Road got under way last month.
Senior chief Mwenemisuku thanked the World Bank, through Agricultural Sector-Wide Approach (Aswap), for modernising the narrow dusty road that snakes past steep slopes to eliminate transportation hurdles which hamper farmers from selling their harvest profitably.
He said the project being implemented by the Roads Authority provides the cut-off farming communities a lifeline to commercial farming.
Said Mwenemisuku: “Misuku has very rich soils and the people produce a lot of coffee, bananas, maize, beans, potatoes and vegetables which nourish both Chitipa and Karonga. However, many of them are living in poverty due to poor access to markets and farm inputs.”
“The road will change service delivery in the rural setting,” said district commissioner(DC) Grace Chirwa.
She said Misuku is economically viable with rich soils and favourable climate, but transport is an age-old setback,especially during the rainy season.”