KALONDE NYATI, Chisamba
SMALLHOLDER and commercial farmers in Chisamba’s Mwomboshi will get the inspiration of irrigation much earlier than expected as the
construction of the Mwomboshi Dam will be completed six months ahead of schedule.
The over US$40 million World Bank funded project involves the development of a 65 million cubic meters dam and irrigation scheme for the benefit of over 5,000 small-scale farmers and over 10 commercial farmers.
Ministry of Agriculture irrigation development support project national co-ordinator Barnabus Mulenga said the project, which started last December, and is expected to be completed in three years, will be completed six months before the scheduled completion date.
Dr Mulenga said the project will enable the farmers grow high value crops such as wheat, soya beans, tomatoes throughout the year and this is expected to ease poverty among small holder farmers.
He said this when he led World Bank Group executive director for Zambia, Andrew Bvumbe and officials from the Ministry of Finance to check on works at the construction site.
Dr Mulenga said Government has signed a memorandum of understanding with some commercial farmers to subscribe to the facility.
“Small-scale farmers and emergent farmers will be expected to pay for water services at a reduced social tariff over a closely monitored period to allow them build up their socio-economic capacity under commercial irrigated agriculture,’’ he said.
Mr Bvumbe who was impressed with the works encouraged quality works and to ensure that displaced communities are fairly compensated.
“It is one thing to finish works ahead of schedule but it is also important that the works are of quality standard,” he said
Sogecoa Zambia Limited deputy general manager Kan Jia Tao assured Mr Bvumbe that the dam will be of high standard.