Chanda, Kanchibiya lawmaker, clamours for establishment of irrigation agency


A lawmaker, Sunday Chanda, has called on government to consider the immediate establishment of an Irrigation Agency.

Chanda said this was to respond to the gaps that exist between the Ministry of Water Development and Sanitation and the Ministry of Agriculture.

In a statement issued in Lusaka on Monday, the Kanchibiya Patriotic Front (PF) Member of Parliament, stated that it should be easy to rally multilateral support towards such an Agency.

He said an agency with a specific mandate would certainly be better placed to support sustainable development in national irrigation towards achieving food security.

“The said Agency can work with specific deliverables in the Provinces before the end of 2024 to begin supporting all-year round agricultural production,” Chanda stated.

He noted that Zambia needed to urgently, effectively and efficiently implement a national irrigation programmes.

Chanda said this crucial and urgent task however could be effectively carried out between the Ministry Water and Sanitation and the Ministry of Agriculture.

“The structural and technical gaps between the two ministries would deprieve the country of the necessary focus and speed required to implement this important national task timely,” he stated.

Chanda said as it were, implementing an irrigation programme should be done in tandem with necessary agricultural policy reforms.

Read More: Hichilema commends rural farmers for ingenuity, restates need for irrigation technology

He stated that this was to increase and diversify agricultural production beyond maize in order to fully meet domestic annual consumption, facilitate strategic reserves and prudently supply available export markets to generate forex.

“To mitigate against food shortages in the short-term in 2024, the government should urgently mobilize seed and fertilizers to support smallholder farmers in the cultivation of “winter-maize” in districts such as Kanchibiya, Samfya and Mwinilunga which have adequate wetlands,” Chanda advised.

He said the winter maize programme should among other things, be implemented with clear targets to achieve desired performance from the participating districts.

Chanda stated that the recurring problems which the country faces, which included devastating droughts, required that citizens come together around the table of ideas to identify and implement sustainable solutions timely.

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