Members of Agriculture and Budget and Finance parliamentary committees say they will lobby for more funds to meet the $90 million (K65.7 billion) budget shortfall for the Shire Valley Irrigation Project.
They said this after touring Phata Sugarcane Out-growers Cooperative in Chikwawa on Friday.
Budget and Finance Committee chairperson Rhino Chiphiko said government needs to meet the shortfall because the project is important to the country in terms of food security.
“We need to find ways on how we can meet the shortfall, even if it means borrowing from outside the country.
“We have to find money because it is suicidal to abandon the project as we have already invested a lot,” he said.
Agriculture, Irrigation and Food Security chairperson, Joseph Chidanti Malunga, said they would engage government on the issue.
“As a committee, we have seen that there is more work to be done. We need to learn more before the Shire Valley Irrigation Project rolls out,” he said.
Phata Sugarcane Out-growers Cooperative chairperson Winston Yohane said the project was helping to uplift lives of the farmers.
The total budget of the project is $230 million (about K168 billion). n