Malawi Congress Party (MCP) torch bearer for Karonga North West 30th of March parliamentary by-election Daniel Mwanyongo Chitonya has urged for more promotion in irrigation in a bid to tackle effects of drought and climate change.
Speaking in an interview Chitonya who has worked in the agriculture sector in various roles for over 25 years including as a Chief Agriculture Officer in the Ministry of Agriculture, saidirrigation can help in lessoning the impacts of climate change and prolonged dry spells.
“Why we remain hungry in Malawi nobody knows, we have a lot of water and land to irrigate on but we still remain hungry hence we must promote irrigation to mitigate issues of food insecurity among households,” he said.
He noted it was unfortunate despite various interventions like subsidies by various Governments since multi-party democracy the country remains food insecure and unable to feed itself.
“If you go to South Africa, Zimbabwe or Israel they are landlocked too like ours but they are ever green and why? It’sbecause of irrigation and we also have the potential to do the same,” he lamented.
Chitonya further suggests, if resources can be invested to create dams in the rivers across the country so as they can be used for irrigation farming issues of hunger and food insecure would be a thing of the past.
“Our rivers are drying hence we must promote irrigation and dam our rivers even if it means just one a year it’s a start because they are costly but we would be on the right track,” Chitonya explained.
According to statistics from the district agriculture division office Karonga has about eighty thousand farmers of the three hundred thousand population which on average produce about fifty seven thousand metric tans of maze against the required eighty thousand metric tons yearly to feed the district.