Monday, 2 May 2016

Zambia's US$4.2 Million Irrigation Project Kicks Off

By Paul Shalala in Luanshya
Senior officers at the project site

The World Bank has funded the Zambia Correctional Service (ZCS) to a tune of US$ 4.1 million to set up 21 center points countrywide which are expected to irrigate over 100 hectares of land.

Under the Irrigation Development Support Program run by the ZCS, this funding is aimed at boosting Zambia's food security and reduce hunger.

The installation of these center pivots has already commenced and expectations are that the pivots will be able to produce maize and other crops year round.

Zambia's staple food is maize and the commodity sometimes becomes scarce due to the over reliance of rain water for growing the crop.

One site where the center pivots will be installed is Luanshya District on the Copperbelt.

There, a contractor is already on site and works have commenced.

The Zambia Correctional Service has already dug trenches and cleared the land where the four pivots will be installed.

Greenline Agricultural Service, the company which is installing the pivots, has started installing the first pivot which is expected to be complete within seven days.

"We are finishing the first center pivot within seven days. The remaining three will also finish within a month. We want to hand over this project to government as soon as possible," said Alfred Simfukwe, Greenline Agrultuural Limited Managing Director. 

This project will cost US$1.4 million.

Zambia Correction Service Commissioner General Percy Chato recently visited the Chitwi Prison Farm in Luanshya where the center pivots are being installed.
Trenches have already been dug
Mr Chato said the project is expected to triple the service’s annual output of maize production which is meant to feed prisoners and some surplus sold to the public.

He said once fully operational, the 21 center pivots will help in the production of maize throughout the year and will help reduce mealie meal prices and shortages of the staple food.

"We want to be a major contributor to food security in the country. At the moment, our contribution to national maize output is minimal but when all the 21 center pivots start working, we shall be producing maize in hundreds of hectares," said Mr Chato.

The Zambia Correctional Service was formerly known as the Zambia Prison Service.

Initially, the institution was running farms to feed prisoners but in the recent years, it has gone commercial.

In Kabwe, where the ZCS headquarters are based, the institution runs a milling plant which produces thousands of bags of mealie meal.

ZCS is even running a retail shop in Kabwe where the commodity is sold to the public.

1 comment:

  1. Interesting development. We need more of this across the continent!