Government of Japan has given Gift of the Givers Foundation a K61 million (about $84 895) grant to facilitate improvement of agricultural production and provision of clean and potable water in Blantyre and Chiradzulu districts.
Speaking at the grant contract signing ceremony in Lilongwe on Tuesday, Japanese Ambassador Shuichiro Nishioka said his government decided to provide the grant having noted that agriculture remains the backbone of Malawi’s economy.
He said investing in irrigation farming would, therefore, provide Malawi with an opportunity to spur economic growth, increase rural employment and enhance food security, particularly in the rural areas.
He said the project, which will be implemented in Lirangwe in Blantyre and Nankuyu in Chiradzulu, will be the first borehole-pumping irrigation project under the Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects being supported by his embassy.
Said Nishioka: “Japan believes that the success of the project will enable the farmers of the two districts to engage in farming throughout the year. This will later increase their agricultural production, improve food security and boost their income.”
Nishioka, while emphasising the need for transparency and accountability in implementation of the project, expressed hope that the project will inspire other partners to replicate the borehole-pumping irrigation system to other parts of the country.
Gift of the Givers Foundation chairperson Abdul Gaffar Jakhura said sustained improvement in agricultural productivity remains essential in efforts to reduce prevailing high levels of malnutrition among children and the elderly.
He said establishment of the projects is a relief to communities in the beneficiary districts, particularly at a time Malawi is facing adverse effects of climate change.
“We assure you that the funds you are donating to our organisation will be utilised for the intended purposes with full transparency and accountability,” said Jakhura.
Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development Allan Chiyembekeza, who was guest of honour at the ceremony, said his ministry has enough irrigation officers in the two districts, stressing that the foundation can tap from their expertise when implementing the projects.