Written by Ivy Tunkete Mwanyongo:
Senior Lecturer at the Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (LUANAR), Thomas Ruben Nyanda has hinted that Malawi has a vast potential for irrigation, and believes that if well utilized, the nation could achieve food security.
His remarks come following a visit to a maize field at Illovo in Dwangwa, Nkhotakota Thursday. The initiative is a collaborative effort between the government of Malawi, LUANAR and Illovo Sugar Company in response to the recent effects of Tropical Cyclone Freddy.
However, Nyanda said, “The nation is failing to utilize the available resources such as Lakes and Rivers due to among others, financial hiccups”.
Nyanda, who also leads the initiative, disclosed that the university is providing technical support and expressed the success of the innovation which has seen Illovo Sugar Company providing 103 hectares of land as well as water used for irrigation.
He anticipates that every hectare will produce about 6 to 7 tons of Maize.
Dwangwa Illovo Sugar Company General Manager, McLean Debwe expressed Illovo’s commitment to creating a thriving Malawian Community, hence partnering with the Community in different projects.
“The most important thing for us is to create a thriving community and food security is part of it, so, when the call was made by LUANAR for partnership, we had to respond positively “, said Debwe.
He added that, “Apart from the provided land as a company we have also built a fence for Nkhunga Community Day Secondary School (CDSS) as well Nkhunga health center and other Corporate Social Responsibilities”.
While commending the company for the gesture, Ben Tohno, Nkhotakota District Commissioner (DC) said the district is moving toward embracing MEGA farms as part of its efforts to ensure community food security in alignment with Malawi’s vision for 2063.
The maize production initiative, funded by the government of Malawi, is scheduled to run from July to December 2023.