Farmers in Chinyamula and Mphepozinai in Ntcheu can now afford a smile following the opening of the Chinyamula-Mphepozinai Road which has been upgraded to low bitumen standard.
Speaking on Wednesday during the opening of the 6.5-kilometre (km) road constructed under the Agriculture Sector Wide Approach-Support Project II (Aswap-SP II), Morris Maziya said farmers were unable to transport their produce to markets because of poor road network.
“Transporting farm produce to Kasinje on the M5 was expensive,” he said.
Ntcheu District Council chairperson Jumbe Mambo said the road will boost trade in the area as it will reduce transport costs.
He said: “Despite the road being 3.5 km shorter than initially planned, I am confident that the road will serve its purpose.
“There is a saying that half a bread is better than none, which is true because the area did not have a tarmac road.”
In his remarks, Aswap-SP II national coordinator Henry Msatilomo said their objective is to improve roads in rural areas.
On why the initial 10 kilometres plan had to be revised, he attributed it to budget constraints.
“We trimmed the distance after receiving bid documents from the contractor,” said Msatilomo.
On his part, Ntcheu District director of public works Henry Mwamvani commended Dika Construction Company for completing the project.
He said the road which cost K1 billion was funded by five donors, namely the European Union, Irish Aid, Flanders, USAid and Norway.
Aswap-SP II is being implemented in 12 districts in the country.