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State to boost irrigation support

GOVERNMENT intends to support over 17,500 hectares of crop under irrigation to increase yields next year.
The irrigation project is being implemented through the small-scale irrigation project (SIP), irrigation development support project (IDSP), agriculture productivity and market enhancement project (APMEP), Finland government expanded SIP and Japan International Co-operation Agency (JICA) technical communitybased smallholder irrigation (T-COBSI).
Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock permanent secretary Julius Shawa said through these interventions, Government will irrigate 12,952 hectares of crop to benefit 9,300 people in 33 sites.
Mr Shawa said SIP is being funded by the Finnish government and through African Development Bank.
“Under the project, the construction of Nega Nega irrigation scheme [495 hectares], Nzenga irrigation scheme [100 hectares] and land levelling has been completed and the farms are ready to start production,” he said.
Prefeasibility studies are being conducted under the Finnish government support for expanded SIP in Petauke, Lundazi, Chipata and Chadiza, Kasama, Mbala, Luwingu, Isoka, Chinsali and Shiwang’andu.
Mr Shawa said under the IDSP, a detailed designed of the 65 million cubic metre capacity has been completed in Chisamba while in Mwomboshi that is yet to be constructed.
He said the APMEP is being funded through a grant from the Global Agriculture and Food Security Programme and has set aside US$19 million for irrigation development.
The targeted districts include Gwembe, Sinazongwe, Rufunsa and Chongwe, while 10 irrigation schemes covering 2,032 hectares targeting 4,115 farmers will be developed in Chitambo and Serenje.
The T-COBSI project jointly funded by the Japan through JICA and Zambia, will contribute 950 irrigated land in Northern, Luapula and Muchinga provinces.