Deputy Minister of Agriculture Agnes Nkusa Nkhoma says the Shire Valley Transformation Programme will address food security in Chikwawa and Nsanje districts.
The project includes constructing a 130-kilometre canal from Kapichira Dam in Chikwawa to Bangula in Nsanje District.
Speaking on Saturday during a media tour to appreciate the progress of the canal, the deputy minister said the project will enhance food production.
“Smallholder farmers in the two districts are affected by drought and floods. But when the project is complete, farmers will be able to grow crops throughout the year through irrigation,” said Nkhoma.
Shire Valley Agriculture Development Division manager Taurayi Mulewa said the canal will also benefit livestock farmers who will utilise the water.
Sande Irrigation Scheme lead farmer Beaton Mapepa asked the Ministry of Agriculture to support them with water pumps.
He said: “Farmers are failing to cultivate the whole 56-hectare scheme because they use treadle pumps.
“However, I am optimistic that farmers will soon migrate to modern farming through the Shire Valley Transformation Programme.”
The first phase, which is expected be completed by December 2023, is funded by the World Bank, Africa Development Bank, the Global Environment Facility, Opec Fund for International Development and the Malawi Government to the tune of $223 million (about K8.1 billion).