Officials from the Department of Irrigation on Tuesday engaged Northern Region stakeholders on the Irrigation Master Plan and Investment Framework launched on June 25 last year.
The plan, which has four components, namely new irrigation development, sustainable irrigation management, capacity building and coordination and management needs about $2.4 billion to be implemented.
Speaking in an interview on the sidelines of the briefing at Sunbird Mzuzu, deputy director of irrigation services Geoffrey Mwepa said the meeting was aimed at creating awareness for the plan and to seek participants’ views on how they can participate in its implementation.
“The private sector has not responded much since we launched the master plan because most of them were not aware of it. We organised these meetings to ensure they are brought on board and they know what is expected of them and make commitments in its implementation,” said Mwepa.
One of the participants, Kinnear Mlowokaa, applauded the department for engaging them.
He said the organisations will raise awareness on the master plan in their respective communities as it is a huge task for government.
“The private sector needs to come in to raise awareness and reach as more people as we can because we are here to complement government efforts. Government made the initiative of coming up with the framework, we are better placed to share the information to a wider audience,” said Mlowoka.
The team will today be in Lilongwe where it will engage the media.
The framework will guide stakeholders in sustainable development and expansion of the industry and aims to reach a total irrigated area of 220 000 hectares by 2035. n