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State to launch irrigation scheme

Posted in Technology, Research & Innovation

ZAMBIA - Government will next month launch an irrigation scheme in Chisamba at a total cost of US$78.1 million, Minister of Agriculture Given Lubinda has said.

The irrigation scheme, which will be located in Mwomboshi, is meant to encourage small and emerging farmers to improve their agricultural techniques.

Mr Lubinda said the evaluation deed for the construction of the dam has been concluded and the name of the contractor has been submitted to the World Bank for approval.

“This project is under phase one of the irrigation development support programme from the World Bank where three similar projects will be set up,” Mr Lubinda said.

Under phase two, the project will start next year where four irrigation schemes will be set up in North-Western, Muchinga, Copperbelt and Western provinces.

Mr Lubinda said Government wants to increase productivity and production of crops using irrigation.

“There are many crops that can be grown under irrigation and not always depending on rains,” he said.

Mr Lubinda said the initiative has the potential to reduce poverty in rural areas as people will always have food even without rains.

He said Government is determined to diversify the economy, hence the need to invest more in the agriculture sector.

The project will include a dam with a length of 1.7 kilometres and 27 meters in height, main pump station below the dam wall, three reservoirs, 12 secondary pump-stations, as well as irrigation fields.

“Mwomboshi irrigation scheme will cover 1,500 hectares of land,” Mr Lubinda said.

He said large-scale commercial farmers will also benefit from the irrigation infrastructure provided under the project, on a full cost recovery basis.

December 18, 2015;