HomeNational NewsNationalChakwera urges farmers to invest in irrigation to end weather-induced hunger

Chakwera urges farmers to invest in irrigation to end weather-induced hunger

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President Dr. Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera has asked farmers to seriously consider venturing in irrigation farming to address food shortage resulting from prolonged dry spells Malawi experienced this year.

Around two million farming households were affected by the El Nino-induced dry spells, resulting in wilting of their crops, including maize – the country’s staple grain.

On Saturday, President Chakwera declared a State of Disaster, stating that Malawi urgently needs more than $200 million in humanitarian assistance.

And speaking on Monday at the launch of the construction of Kholongo Multipurpose Dam in commemoration of World Water Day in Dowa, the Malawi leader warned that humanitarian assistance may not be the most sustainable way to address hunger, stressing that said irrigation is the only way out of weather-induced end hunger.

“Realizing that this disaster is not the first, realizing that last year and the following year there was also a disaster, it is important that we put on our strength to find other ways to make agriculture so that food is available without accidental or insufficient rain. God has blessed us with a lot of irrigation water in this country, but now is the time to take irrigation seriously,” he said.

Chakwera expressed hope that the construction of the multipurpose dam would help to empower the people of Kasese, Madisi, Mponela, and surrounding areas, to venture into irrigation farming.

The Government of Malawi started building the dam in March last year using locally generated resources.

President Chakwera commissioning construction works of Kholongo Multipurpose Dam in Dowa

President Chakwera said his government recognizes the importance of sustainable water supply. He said this is why water is one of the key priorities in the Malawi 2063 development agenda.

“When we talk about the vision of Malawi 2063, that we are building a new Malawi to ensure that we develop together, the beginning is health, because everything else comes after health. If the health is not going well, it is difficult for us to say anything else because all the good things in the world taste better when the health is good.

“Also, when we talk about health, we always talk about food, medicine, and water. But among these three things, water is what we call life. When there is no water, there is no sanitation. When there is no water, there is no agriculture. When there is no water, there is no cooking. When there is no water, there is no industry. When there is no water, something to drink. So by completing this project in the year 2026, we will provide water to more than 130,000 people here in Dowa,” said the President.

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