Farmers in Machinga on Tuesday visited fellow farmers in Nkhotakota and Salima where they learned the effectiveness of Water Users Associations (WUAs) and cooperatives in rice farming.
Machinga district irrigation officer Daniel Sambakunsi said farmers from Namosi and Namose irrigation schemes visited Nkhotakota and Salima to appreciate irrigation scheme operation and maintenance since schemes in the two districts are well established.
The farmers visited a 300-hectare Bua Irrigation Scheme in Nkhotakota, which is being managed by WUA and a 600-hectare Lifidzi Irrigation Scheme in Salima which is under construction.
Sambakunsi said the two irrigation schemes in Machinga have no WUAs and cooperatives; hence, their visit to Nkhotakota and Salima to appreciate their effectiveness.
“To ensure effective scheme operation and maintenance, the two schemes need the two structures in place,” he said.
Bua Irrigation Scheme president Joseph Nyirenda said their scheme has become a learning centre for irrigation farmers in the country because it has registered successes through the WUA and cooperatives.
Nkhotakota Agricultural Extension Development coordinator Wildon Mchina said they will continue to provide technical support to the scheme to ensure that Bua WUA and the cooperative are vibrant to transform living standards of people around the schemes.
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), through a five-year Climate Proofing Project, is financing construction works at two schemes in Machinga. n