Zambia African Safari

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Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Irrigation Policy to Support Zambia Safari

The ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives is devising a five-year National Irrigation Plan (NIP). This is part of the Fifth National Development Plan (FNDP) a policy expected to cost US$150 million. It will cover the period 2006 to 2011.

Zambian minister of agriculture Mundia Sikatana lamented that, “… I am told that 40 percent of the waters in Southern Africa are from Zambia but we just allow this water to run into oceans and seas unutilised. Consequently, rain fed crops often fails when scanty rainfall is experienced.”

With a National Irrigation Plan (NIP) farmers would utilise the enormous water resources for agricultural production of crops for food, cash, industry and for export. The irrigation policy would “promote development of an efficient, competitive and sustainable agricultural sector to ensure food security and increased income.”

NIP would require an Irrigation Development Fund (IDF). This would provide capital in irrigation-related projects. Farmers would acquire agricultural technology such as treadle pumps, sprinklers, drips and watering canes. Some funds would go to medium and long-term water transfer systems such as dams, weirs, canals and pumps, at individual farmers… Do I see an investment opportunity for you?

And who is to benefit from all this investment efforts? Zambian tourism and Zambia safari enterprises. Plenty of low cost delicious food for visitors and locals alike. And a ‘bunch’ of happy hoteliers too!


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