BY BLAIR MHONE
The Greenbelt Authority has commenced the construction of a 30-billion-kwacha rice scheme at Nthola-illora in Karonga which is set to benefit the country in food security.
The scheme, which has targeted 1000 hectares, will assist at least 4,000 farming families to adapt and use improved technologies in farming, increase productivity and production of crops through promotion of climate smart agriculture, as well as improve market access, increase volumes and quality of value-added products and improve access to other socio-economic infrastructure.
Speaking yesterday during the handover of a contractor who will construct a state-of-the art K800 million Rice Milling factory at the scheme, Board of Directors Chairperson at Greenbelt Authority Wester Peter Kosamu said the Authority was committed to delivering on its mandate of improving the agricultural sector in Malawi.
He added that the contractor, Sanga Civils, will complete the works in the agreed Four months to complete and hand-over the milling factory to the community.
“This project has huge economic significance both to the district and the nation at large. The overall goal of the project is to contribute to wealth creation and attainment of food and nutrition security, increased household incomes and exports through sustainable Irrigation and Agro—processing,” he said.
He also implored the company to employ local people for the works as a motivation for the community to embrace the project.
Meanwhile the Authority has also already paid out MK 168 million in compensation to 37 households in the area to pave the way for the rollout of construction of the factory where a state-of-the-art Rice milling plant will be installed.
Another contractor, Sico Civils Contractors, is also already on the site and has started constructing the Water Intake for the project.
GBA is a Government of Malawi corporation established with the mandate to champion large-scale commercial irrigation through efficient use of land and water resources in order to accelerate socio-economic transformation of the country.